Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Mario Scarf

Welcome to my blog about my quest- my quest to knit the entire first level map of Super Mario Brothers. This first post will outline the reasons for investing so much time, energy, and money into quite possibly one of the nerdiest endeavors undertaken.

The Super Mario Brother scarf was sadly not my own idea. I give all credit to my sweet, super nerdy boyfriend Jason. Jason is a big time video gamer and has an affinity for old school Nintendo games. Oddly, though, I got an Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES, the original Nintendo console) before he did as a kid and started playing Super Mario Brothers (or SMB) paired with Duck Hunt waaaay before he did. With the recent proliferation of geek craft and geek knitting, Jason suggested that I try my hand at something nerdy. He'd seen some Nintendo-themed knitting projects pop up around the web and got the idea of knitting the map of a game level.

SMB levels are linear maps and the Mario and Luigi characters move from left to right from start to the castle at the end. Also, the images in these games are designed in the 8-bit fashion and look like they were drawn using graph paper. Each knitting stitch can replicate a square in the image making knitted 8-bit images look like they're supposed to.

My original design of the scarf was HUGE. I used the map image from and put it into a knitting pattern generator and it was due to be something like 90 stitches across. A quick swatch test of that width was so big I knew I'd run out of yarn fast and it would never be wearable. Using the map image from, I decided to "free-hand" the scarf. It's not exactly to scale as the ratio of sky to surface in the map is big, but it looks fine in its knitted form.

Needless to say, though, knitting this scarf got to be daunting. I tried to put in at least an hour of work a day for the first month or so and was moving along, but not getting very far. I'm using stockinette stitch and the intarsia method to add the bushes, question blocks, and clouds. I plan on stitching in the details when I finish the body of the scarf. As much as I love the meditative state that stockinette can put a knitter in, it's been a little tough on the hands. So for awhile I didn't touch the scarf at all.

Then Jason and I were talking about our future. We both know that we want to get married, but as Jason will be attending law school in fall 2008, I'm still looking for a teaching job, and Jason just bought a house, having a wedding seems a little bit out of our budget for the time being; however, we're open to the possibility of getting engaged soon. Jason decided to to offer me a deal- when the Mario Scarf is finished then he will propose. Motivation at last!

Now I'm back on the needles chugging away at the scarf, taking pictures, exploring my passion of knitting and fiber, and of course, all things geeky on this journey. If you have questions, suggestions, comments or words of encouragement, I hope you'll drop me a line!

1 comment:

Celia said...

I wish I could knit and make a scarf like that to my boy!; lol...
It's looking great in your last posts! Amazing! Will keep checking your blog to see how it looks like, lol...
Thanks for sharing!