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Bernie Sanders comments on his viral knitted mittens

Amy de Klerk
·3-min read
Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images
Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

There were plenty of amazing meme-able moments from Wednesday's US inauguration, but no more so than Bernie Sanders and his knitted mittens.

The US senator sent the Internet alight when he was pictured keeping warm during proceedings in a very fetching pair of mittens – and was quickly Photoshopped onto every situation possible, from historic photographs and movie scenes to other more mundane moments.

Of course, this is not the first time that his relaxed 'dadcore' style has inspired memes (and even fashion collections) – and Sanders laughed off the viral moment, explaining that his accessory was all about dealing with the chilly Washington temperatures.

"In Vermont, we dress warm – we know something about the cold," Sanders told CBS News. "We’re not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today."

He later added in an interview with CNN about all the fuss: "It makes people aware that we make good mittens in Vermont. We have some good coats as well."

Photo credit: Drew Angerer - Getty Images
Photo credit: Drew Angerer - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

This is not actually the first time that Sanders has been pictured in the mittens, which were a gift from a teacher named Jen Ellis from Vermont, who made them using recycled plastic and repurposed sweaters. And, while she is overwhelmed by the interest and support, Ellis says she won't be quitting her job to make enough mittens to meet the new demand.

"I don’t have any mittens to sell," the teacher told Jewish Insider. "I don’t really do it a lot any more. I’m flattered that they want them, but there are lots of people on Etsy who sell them and hopefully people will get some business from them. But I’m not going to quit my day job."

"I am a second grade teacher, and I’m a mom, and all that keeps me really busy. There’s no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me. I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one-of-a-kind and they’re unique and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want."

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