Why did Bernie’s Mittens Warm our Hearts so?

As statesmen and stateswomen gathered for the inauguration there was one rather surprising fashion stand out – Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In true Bernie style he was dressed for warmth and for comfort, no muss, no fuss.

Maybe it was the incongruence of these handmade recycled sweater mitts among the fine duds of the other attendees. Maybe it was that he looks like he could be our grandpa. Maybe it was that you knew what was going through his head, “It’s cold, these gloves are warm.” or maybe it was because they are ultimately accessible to all of us, and especially us knitters and crocheters. And the explosion of Bernie Mitt inspired garments on Ravelry speaks to that.

The patterns below are free patterns, but each of the designers ask for users to consider donating to a community based charity. You could make it easy for yourself, purchase the yarn on Saturday from Birdhouse and we’ll give 10% to our local charity of the month, which happens to be Youth on their Own this Saturday, and will be the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona for the month of February.

1. Feel the Bern by Caitlin Hunter

Bernie’s mittens as a short sleeved sweater. Based on her Soldonta sweater the design can easily be lengthened if crops aren’t your style, instructions are included in the pattern. This design is simple enough for an adventurous beginner, yet still engaging for advanced knitters. Best of all, the cropped length and sleeveless style make this a super quick and gratifying project. The body length is easily adjustable; keep in mind changes will alter the yardage required. Knit in a worsted weight.

2. Bernie’s Socks by Stone Knits

These socks are knit in fingering weight from the cuff down with a 2 x 2 ribbed cuff, an easy colourwork pattern on the leg and foot and a heel-flap and gusset. This pattern uses the magic loop circular needle method (but can be knit with dpns).

3. The Bernies (mittens) by Melissa Anderson

These use the same colors and motifs around the entire hand, knitting in the round with increases for thumb gussets, and then picking up stitches to finish the thumbs.The pattern is written for those who are familiar with basic mitten knitting and has not been extensively tested. It is only available in one size, but experienced knitters may be able to adapt the gauge for larger sizes (using larger needles or thicker yarn) or adapt the pattern accordingly. This pattern was using worsted weight.

4. Bernie’s Cowl by Jamie Lomax

Bernie’s Cowl is a stranded colorwork pattern that is knit in the round using circular needles. Knit with four coordinating colors of DK Weight yarn, this is a great stash buster and easy beginner colorwork.

Yarns to choose from

Both the sweater and the mitts featured above are knit in worsted weight yarn. We have several worsted weight yarns including Cascade 220, 220 Superwash by Cascade, Elysian by Cascade Yarns Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted  

The cowl is knit in a DK weight yarn our Hikoo Simplicity would be perfect for this. And the socks…well sock yarn abounds!

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