Usually when people love a video game, they just play it all the time. But then there’s Kjetil Nordin, who instead knitted a giant blanket picturing the game Super Mario 3. The blanket, which is 7 feet by nearly 6 feet long, took him 800 hours to crochet spread out over 6 years! He made each stitch of the blanket match each colored dot on the computer screen. We see the full scoreboard, trees, and a castle with the word “HELP” yelled out the window. During those 6 years, Kjetil also graduated from college with two degrees and won the Norwegian Sky Diving team championship twice. Kjetil may love Super Mario, but he’s not wasting much time playing it.

*Wee ones:* If the scoreboard has white, black, blue, yellow and red, how many colors of yarn does it use?

*Little kids:* If the water around the castle is 11 stitches wide, what numbers would you say to count them? *Bonus:* If the last 3 stitches are dark blue, what number is the 1st dark blue stitch?

*Big kids:* The castle looks about 20 stitches wide by 20 stitches tall. How many stitches does that little castle have? *Bonus:* If Kjetil had crocheted a whole 10 hours a day every day, in about how many weeks could he have finished?

*The sky’s the limit:* If there are 50 stitches per 1 foot length of blanket (and 50 rows per foot as well), and the whole piece is 7 feet long by 6 feet wide, how many stitches does this crazy blanket have? How would you try to multiply that out?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 5 colors of yarn.

*Little kids:* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. *Bonus:* 9. Remember, if 3 are dark blue, then there are 11-3 or 8 stitches that are NOT dark blue, so it can’t be 8 (this is the “fencepost problem”). Count down from 11 to prove it!

*Big kids:* About 400 stitches. *Bonus:* Just over 11 weeks. He would have taken 80 days, and 77 days fill 11 weeks.

*The sky’s the limit:* 105,000 stitches. There are 2,500 in each square foot (50 rows with 50 stitches in each), which means every 4 square feet have 10,000 stitches. There are 42 square feet in total (7 x 6). So the 40 square feet have 100,000 stitches, and the last 2 square feet add another 2,500+2,500, or 5,000.