Crafters have gone crazy for Bernie Sanders’ inauguration day mittens. While social media was alight with Bernie memes, knitters & crocheters were busy whipping up patterns at lightning speed.
80 patterns related to Bernie’s mittens have been added to Ravelry alone in just a WEEK!
Bernie’s mittens were made by Jen Ellis out of upcycled sweaters. So it is not possible to knit his exact mittens. But there are patterns to make mittens, hats & more in a similar style.
So if you’re feeling the Bern, here’s a round-up of the best knitting & crochet patterns inspired by Bernie’s iconic mittens.
Table of Contents
Easy knit Grumpy Chic mittens (free pattern)
These mittens are knit in the round using aran yarn. The pattern is available in 2 sizes: medium (8 inch / 20.5 cm hand circumference) and large (10 inch / 25.5 cm).
Lion Brand list it as an easy knitting pattern that uses simple stitch patterns and shaping. The coloured pattern is a bit simpler than on the inauguration mitts, but there’s still a strong Bernie vibe.
This easy knit version does involves some basic colorwork for the front side. You also need to carry the black and cream yarn strands across as you knit the plain taupe palm side. This technique will make the mittens extra snug, but it’s a bit fiddly.
I think this pattern is suitable for adventurous beginners who are already comfortable with basic knitting skills. It’s a nice choice for a first stranded project as it’s small, works up quickly and there is not too much colourwork per row.
Uncle Bernie’s Mittens knitting pattern (free)
If you are more comfortable with colourwork, try the free Uncle Bernie’s upcycled mittens knitting pattern by Alice Glass.
This pattern is made with worsted yarn. You can make mittens in 3 sizes just by changing your needle size. The smallest size is suitable for a large child or small adult with a 6 inch palm. The medium size gives a 7 inch palm, while the large size is for an 8 inch palm circumference.
You have the choice of making a gusset thumb while you make the rest of the mitten, or adding an afterthought thumb later.
Alice’s pattern matches the fairisle design on Bernie’s mittens as closely as possible. She just chose to repeat the brown pattern all around the mitt for ease, so there is no navy/grey palm side. The end result is very stylish & snug mittens.
More free knitting patterns for Bernie’s mittens
- Feel the Heat knitted mittens by Marly Bird
Includes a video tutorial. Charts for women’s medium & large and men’s sizes.
- Bernie’s Mittens by Emily O’Brien (Ravelry)
3 sizes (child, small adult, large). Clear PDF pattern and chart.
- Bernie’s inauguration mittens by Jeanette Weber (Ravelry)
Pattern for small-medium mittens in English & Swedish withchart.
- Vermont’s Finest mittens by Meg Harlan (Ravelry)
Mainly charted pattern with brief written instructions.
- Bernie Sanders mittens by Lena Bolting (Ravelry)
Brief written guide in English & Sweden with charts.
- Bernie’s Mittens by Gremlin Knits
Free pattern available as series of images on blog post.
Bernie’s mittens crochet pattern (free)
Not a knitter? Crochet Bernie’s mittens using this free pattern by B Watkins on Ravelry.
It uses the centre single crochet (CSC) technique, also known as waistcoat stitch, to give the mittens a knitted look. Here’s a good waistcoat stitch video tutorial from Rich Textures Crochet.
The patterns is designed for women’s small to medium size mittens. But you can make a bigger or smaller size by changing the stitch count by a multiple of 4.
You need worsted weight yarn and a 4.5 mm hook. The designer has used 4 shades of Red Heart Super Saver yarn (white, oatmeal, cafe latte and chocolate).
Full written instructions are provided as well as a colour chart.
Matching crochet Bernie mittens & beanie (free patterns)
The patterns are one size and made with worsted weight yarn using a 5.5 mm hook. The mittens are 11 x 4.5 inches approx while the beanie hat is 10 inches wide by 9 inches tall.
Both these patterns also use waistcoat stitch (also known as split stitch or center single crochet) which makes crochet look like knitting.
Bernie’s mittens were made from multiple old sweaters. This pattern recreates the look by using a different navy & grey design for the palm side.
Laura has even made a 30 minute video guide for making the mittens.
You can also purchase ad-free PDF pattern versions on Etsy.
More free crochet patterns for Bernie’s mittens
- Feel the Heat crochet mittens by Marly Bird
Uses the simpler single crochet in the back loop method. You can substitute with waistcoast stitch (split stitch) for more distinct colourwork if you like. Video tutorial included. Charts for women’s medium & large and men’s sizes.
- Fingerless mittens for Bernie by Lara Horrigan (Ravelry)
Simpler fingerless mitts twist on the Bernie style. Pattern uses tapestry crochet approach.
Weekend at Bernie’s beanie hat knitting pattern (free)
Rosee Woodland has designed a super stylish beanie hat inspired by Bernie’s inauguration mittens.
Her free Weekend at Bernie’s beanie hat knitting pattern is knit in the round with aran yarn.
This unisex pattern is available in 4 sizes ranging from 40-52 cm (15¾-20½ inch) head circumference. The hat is very stretchy so should fit most head sizes.
You only need small amounts of 4 colours to make the hat, so it’s a great opportunity to use up some stash.
All Rosee asks in exchange for sharing this pattern is that you consider making a donation to charity.
Bernie’s mittens style cowl knitting pattern (free)
Bored with all the mittens? Move on to the chic & cosy Bernie’s cowl designed by Jamie Lomax of PNW Knit Design.
This free cowl pattern is knit in the round with 4 colours of DK yarn. Worsted yarn can also be used and this project is a perfect stashbuster.
The cowl measures 11.5in wide x 12.25in tall (29x31cm) approx but you can easily adjust the circumference by casting on a different number of stitches. Just make sure your total number of stitches is still divisible by 6.
While the cowl has a lot of colourwork, it’s just a 6 stitch pattern repeat. Most rows only involve 2 colours too. So this could be an ideal stranded knitting project for beginners.
In exchange for this free cowl pattern, Jamie is encouraging donations to a cause Bernie Sanders supports in your local area.
Knit a sweater inspired by Bernie’s mittens (free pattern)
If you want to go all in with a larger project, you’ll love the Feel the Bern sweater by Caitlin Hunter at Boyland Knitworks.
This gorgeous yoke sweater uses a similar fairisle pattern to Bernie’s mittens. Knit with worsted yarn and short sleeves, it works up quickly. You can choose between cropped and full length sweater options too.
Designer Caitlin advises that “this design is simple enough for an adventurous beginner, yet still engaging for advanced knitters“.
Best of all it’s available in 10 sizes (32-68 inch bust), so we can all feel the bern. ?
Caitlin would like knitters who use the pattern to donate to a local food charity if they can.
Amazing Bernie Sanders crochet doll pattern
My absolute favourite has got to be this incredible crochet Bernie Sanders doll by Tobey King. I can’t get over the level of detail here & how quickly she got the pattern together.
Tobey even auctioned off her original creation raising over $40K for charity. How impressive is that?
If you want to make your very own Bernie buddy, you can now buy this Bernie doll crochet pattern on Etsy.