Bernie's Mittens by Alyssa Coffey

Bernie's Mittens

no longer available from other sources show
January 2021
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
4.5 stitches and 5.5 rows = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 4 - 3.5 mm
175 - 250 yards (160 - 229 m)
One Size
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Discontinued. This digital pattern is no longer available online.

Bernie’s Mittens – Mittens inspired by those Bernie Sanders wore at Joe Biden’s Inauguration on January 20, 2021. Bernie’s own mittens were made by Jen Ellis, a Vermont schoolteacher who sewed them from patches of old wool sweaters. These are a little different as they repeat the same colorwork motif around the hand, while Sanders’ mittens featured contrasting thumb and black fabric across the palm.

This pattern was updated on January 21, 2020. The new version adds a column in the color work chart to make the pattern repeat evenly across the hand. Please download Version 2.

  • Needles: US Size 4 needles (3.5 mm).
  • Gauge: 4.5 stitches & 5.5 rows per inch. (18 stitches and 22 rows = 4”/10cm).
  • Yarn: Worsted weight in four colors: 1 skein Color A (medium brown) and small amounts of 3 Contrast Colors (white, beige, and dark brown on chart).

Note on sizing: This pattern is adapted from my personal mitten recipe and preferences. It fits a small-to-average women’s hand. To make smaller/larger mittens, consider adjusting needle size and gauge.

This free pattern has not been tested.

Edited to add January 21: Bernie’s own mittens were made by Jen Ellis, a Vermont school teacher. She sewed them from scraps of old wool sweaters and lined them with fleece. My pattern does not aim to subtract from her craftsmanship, it one of a few simple colorwork charts inspired by the pattern on the front. Thank you kindly to all who brought Ellis’ name and work to my attention over the past several hours since this pattern was released.

It is important to me that this pattern remains free to all and that it does not serve as a happy sign of complacency. People are dying unnecessarily and no change of administration can solve the worst and most pervasive evils in our country. If you are able and feel so moved, I encourage you to donate what a pattern would have cost ($3) to local mutual aid funds.]