Bernie’s inauguration mittens: Woman who made them speaks


BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - On a historic inauguration day, there are a lot of things that will be remembered. At least one thing was not expected to be so memorable: Sen. Bernie Sanders wearing mittens.

“You know, they zoomed right in on him, with his mittens,” said Jen Ellis, who made the mittens. “And I was like, ‘There they are!’”

Ellis, an elementary school teacher, got a pair of her homemade mittens to Sanders after his first presidential run.

Her daughter went to the daycare Sanders’ daughter-in-law ran.

“I sent them to him via her, with a note that said like something like, ‘I hope you run again, I believe in you, I like you, I’ve always voted for you,’ something like that,” Ellis said.

Ellis sold the mittens, made from old wool sweaters sewn together and lined with fleece from recycled plastic, at craft fairs in the meantime.

Sanders wore the mittens at a New Hampshire event last year. They gained some attention

But then …

“All of the sudden my phone started dinging, and people were saying that Bernie was wearing my mittens,” Ellis said.

On the biggest stage, Sanders sported Ellis’ made in Vermont mittens and, of course, his Burton winter jacket.

Sanders trended on Twitter, becoming a viral hit with countless memes and mentions online.

Gayle King even asked Sanders about his Inauguration Day fashion on CBS News.

“You know, in Vermont, we know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned with good fashion,” he said. “We want to keep warm.”

Ellis says she’s gotten hundreds of emails from people looking to buy a pair of the mittens.

But she stopped selling them, and now only makes them as gifts for family and friends.

“I gave those mittens as a gift to Bernie, expecting nothing in return, and I think it’s beautiful that they have gone so far,” she said. “And I think it’s wonderful that he represents Vermont in that way, that he brought a handcrafted item with him to this awesome historic day.”

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