Bernie’s Mittens Inspired Hat – The Bernie Beanie

If you’ve been on the internet lately, you surely haven’t missed the sight of some mittens. As a blogger, I would basically be remiss to not mention it, and I actually loved seeing “knits” go viral! I don’t have the time to work up little worsted weight mittens right now, but I did want to jump in on the fun – hence this beanie! And WOW, did you give me some amazing name suggestions on Facebook and Instagram! I’ll include several of your name ideas below because they are super entertaining. By the way, my blog isn’t political and never has been political. It will always be a welcoming place for everyone. I simply found the mittens to be super cute and got a bang how these knits went viral. 🙂

See the full pattern for free by scrolling down, or you may purchase the ad-free printable on Etsy HERE.

One of the many memes going around with the infamous mittens.

If you’re not in the US, or you’ve been offline for a while, Bernie Sanders wore some knit mittens to the inauguration. There’ve been memes and photos shared all over the place, and a slew of knitting and crochet patterns to make the mittens as well as patterns to make Bernie dolls (Tobey Time Crochet has my fave). She sold her original doll for charity and over $20,000 was raised for Meals On Wheels!

Bernie was gifted the mittens by a teacher who actually cut up sweaters and sewed the pieces together. She then lined them with fleece made from recycled plastic. So while they weren’t hand knit, they had the look of being hand knit. It was actually a very heartwarming, kind gift. I’m thinking about what sweaters I might be able to cut up at this point. 🙂

There the are. (Photo Washington Post)

As many of you know, I love working with chunkier yarns and making quick, easy patterns. It was really fun to make this hat as I literally just looked at Bernie’s mittens online, and used similar stitch counts that I used in my Scandinavian Fair Isle Hat. All I had to do was pick the colors, and be inspired by the fair isle style on the mittens. A little math here and there, some fiddling with colors, and voila!

I mention this a few times, but you can use any colors that you have on hand. To more closely match the look of the original mittens, stick with three shades of brown and a cream color. I used black in place of the darkest brown.

Before I get into the details of the project, first let me share with you some of the many name options you gave me for this beanie. It was really hard to decide and thank you to everyone who helped!

Here are just a sampling of the name ideas you came up with:

Bernie Beanie, Bern Baby Bern, Beanie Sanders, Mr. Sanders Needs A Hat, Billionaire Beanie, Bernie’s Beanie, Feel The Bern Beanie, Feel The Beanie, The Bernice Beanie, Bernadette, Bernie The Beanie, Bernie’s Bean Cover, Winter In Vermont

Great ideas, right?! 🙂

Most people wanted the Bernie Beanie, but I’ve been advised that I should pick another name. So, I’m now going with Winter In Vermont!

Alright – Keep these things in mind with this pattern:

You can use any super bulky #6 yarn that you have on hand. You need three shades of brown and a cream color. You can also use two shades of brown, a black and a cream (which I did here). I happened to have each of these yarns on hand, and several of you asked about the colors. All of them are Lion Brand except for the light tan, which is from We Crochet/ Knit Picks. It’s gorgeous. I’ll link to each one below.

Here’s a look at the hat in progress. Really fun! I didn’t make charts for this hat, but I think you’ll find it’s quite easy to follow. Just mark your rounds!

If you’ve never done color work or knit fair isle, it’s so easy in the round like this! Take a read of Tin Can Knit blog post here to have an idea on how it works.

Let’s hop to the pattern!

You can see the full, free pattern below, or you can purchase the ad-free printable from Etsy HERE

Again, just a reminder, this is a written pattern and there are no charts. The pattern must be a multiple of 4 to work, so if you want to make it smaller or larger, keep that in mind! You of course could also use a smaller or larger needles size to adjust. Mark your rounds and have fun!


Pattern Description: Inspired by the viral Bernie Sanders mittens worn on inauguration day, this hat is both trendy and adorable! The heartwarming story of how the mittens were made, as well as the super cool stitch pattern that they featured, makes this such a fun little knit.  The hat’s quick to make on large needles with super bulky yarn.  It’s a perfect little stash buster, and feel free to use any colors that you like!

Skill Level: Easy +


1 Lion Brand Yarn Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Black

1 Lion Brand Yarn Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Fisherman

1 Lion Brand Yarn Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Toffee or Hometown USA in Little Rock Granite (The Toffee that I used is out of stock and possibly discontinued! Ugh! However, you can use any other shade of brown that you like. You could use the color Barley, which I found at Wal Mart. Or you can use the Little Rock Granite Color in Hometown USA from Lion Brand HERE)

1 Knit Picks/WeCrochet Tuff Puff in Snickerdoodle HERE (stunning yarn!)

  You may sub any super bulky #6 yarns that you like. You will need 3 shades of brown and a cream color or you may use 2 shades of brown, one black, and one cream color.

US Size 15, 10.0 mm 16” circular knitting needles (US size 17 circular needles – optional)


Tapestry Needle

Gauge: Approximately 9 stitches and 14.5 rows in 4” X 4” swatch of stockinette stitch

Size: One women’s size fits most – Approximately 9” wide X 9” tall


k – knit

p – purl

sts – stitches

k2tog – knit two together decrease

You should be familiar with colorwork knitting and holding two colors at once.

Notes: This hat is knit in the round and uses stranded colorwork techniques to knit with two colors.   You must knit the colorwork loosely and leave generous floats as you carry the colors.  If you knit too tightly, your hat could turn out small.  If your hat is not large enough, you may choose to knit with the US size 15 needles until you reach the colorwork section where you can then begin to use the US size 17 needles. You can always block the hat to shape and size when finished as well! For best results, you may choose to use the jogless join method with each round.


With Toffee, cast on 40 stitches, join to knit in the round (mark rounds as needed)

Round 1 *K1, p1; repeat from * around working a 1 X 1 rib

Rounds 2 – 4 Repeat Round 1

Round 5 – 8 Knit each stitch around

Round 9 *Knit 3 brown, k1 Fisherman; repeat from * around.

Round 10 Repeat round 9

Round 11 Knit 1 Fisherman, k1 Toffee, *k3 fisherman, k1 toffee; repeat around to last 2 sts, k2 Fisherman

Round 12 Knit around in Fisherman.

Round 13 *Knit 3 Fisherman, k1 Snickerdoodle; repeat from * around.

Round 14 Repeat round 13

Round 15 Knit 1 Snickerdoodle, k1 Fisherman, *k3 Snickerdoodle, k1 Fisherman; repeat from * around to last 2 sts, k2 Snickerdoodle.

Round 16 Knit around in Snickerdoodle.

Round 17 *Knit 3 Snickerdoodle, k1 Black; repeat from * around.

Round 18 Repeat round 17.

Round 19 Knit 1 Black, k1 Snickerdoodle, *k3 Black, k1 Snickerdoodle; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2 Black.

Round 20 Knit around in Black.

Round 21 *Knit 3 Toffee, k1 black; repeat from * around.

Round 22 Knit around in Toffee.

Round 23 Repeat round 9.

Round 24 Repeat round 11.

Round 25 Repeat round 9.

Round 26 Knit around in Toffee.

Rounds 27 – 29 Repeat round 26.

Round 30 *K2, k2tog; repeat from * around.

Next, draw a length of yarn through the loops on your needles and tighten to close the top. Tie securely with a knot and weave in ends. Block to shape and size as desired.  

Feel free to add a fluffy pom to the top of your Bernie Beanie and enjoy it!

I hope you may have gotten a laugh, or you might enjoy knitting this pattern! If you do, I’d love to hear about it on Instagram or Facebook!



Bernie\'s Mittens Inspired Hat - The Bernie Beanie

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  1. I’m sure that Bernie’s mittens are known all over the world. I was looking for an easy beanie pattern in a super chunky yarn. This is it!

    1. This is such a cute beanie! And as soon as you look at it, you think of the mittens!
      Wil you have a crochet pattern for this?


      1. Hi Maria! I don’t have a crochet version planned at the moment. However, I believe I saw a crocheted version made with worsted weight yarn available on Ravelry. 🙂 Hope that might help!

    1. There’s actually a reply to someone else in which she mentions there is a crochet pattern by someone else on Ravelry…hope this helps you! 😉

  2. Will the Bernie Beanie be available with Crochet instructions? Luv how you did this. Adorable

    1. Hi Roxanne – I’m not planning a crocheted version at the moment. Thank you for asking though!

    1. Hi Michelle! It is! You might have to scroll through the “Knitting Patterns” area, but I see several folks have downloaded it. Email me if you still have an issue finding it!

    2. The patter starts around page 8. If you set up “Print” with control p. So go to the area where it says “print all” and set up P.8 – P.14

  3. Love how creative everyone has been after seeing Bernie at the Inauguration. What does one do if one really doesn’t like his stand on anything???? Someone needs to design something that will have the same impact but not the politics!!!!!!

  4. Gauge: Approximately 9 stitches and 14.5 stitches in 4” X 4” swatch of stockinette stitch
    Should this read 9 rows and 14.5 stitches or 9 stitches and 14.5 rows?

  5. I love this, and thank you for sharing! Are you able to share a pattern for the mittens, too? 🙂

  6. If you wanted to make it in a worsted yarn (that is not bulky yarn) any ideas on how to adapt the pattern??

  7. Hi Jessica- This reminds me of the Pussy Hat craze. I knit many of those for friends and family. Then it seemed like the fad was over in about a week. I think your beanie is adorable and will outlive the Bernie mittens meme.

    1. Haha! That was quite a craze, wasn’t it?

      I’m glad you like the hat and can see it being useful beyond the mittens memes. Lol! It was fun for me to do something a little different and play around with something that went viral. I really found it to be entertaining that some knit mittens could go so crazy. Thanks for your kind words and hope you have a great week!

  8. Hi there, thank you for the pattern, this is great! Do you happen to know where I can find the patter for the Bernie Mittens? Thank you!

  9. Hi there! Thanks for this – will be fun to make. How would I revise this pattern for a man’s hat extra large & large?

  10. Hi. I made one of your hats and it’s so cute and want to make a much bigger one for a guy but I like the size 15 needles with my yarn. To make a larger size would it work to add more stitches in a multiple of 4 to get the color work right?
    Thanks for the free pattern with the bulky yarn! ❤️ Alison

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