Amid the formality of President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday was the sight of Vermont’s Junior US. Senator in a decidedly casual and comfortable accessory turned heads and lit social media

“I thought, ‘There they are,” said Jen Ellis of Essex Junction, remembering the moment on TV when she spotted the mittens she made for Sen Bernie Sanders

The Independent who ran for the Democratic nomination for president wore mittens that were distinctive, perhaps even refreshingly practical, in fact, they were made from a recycled sweater and lined with fleece

The mittens exploded on social media on Wednesday, and people created funny memes from a picture of Sanders wearing them to the ceremony.The memes edited Sanders and his winter look at all sorts of crazy places, from the surface of the moon to right next to it Chewbacca and Han Solo aboard the Millennium Falcon

“I love that he loves them and that he wears them,” Ellis said. “And I’m totally honored that he wore them today”

This is how it all started: Ellis ‘daughter Helen went to a day care center owned by a relative of Sanders’ A few years ago when mom wanted gifts for the staff, she had an “in” who could give the former presidential candidate a pair

“I think people like a heartwarming story – especially now,” Ellis said of why the mittens got so many people’s attention on social media,

Ellis, who said she never met the Senator, is a full-time elementary school teacher in the Essex-Westford School District in Vermont.She used woolen clothing as a sideline to sell at craft fairs or given away as gifts

Because the coronavirus pandemic forced craft trade shows to be canceled, Ellis said she has not made mittens for sale recently

Hellen, who is just a few months to 6 months old, has a pair of mittens that are similar to the ones Sanders wore when he was inaugurated

Sanders previously wore the mittens at stops on the campaign when he ran for president in 2020 and in interviews with Vermont journalists

As for all those silly social media attitudes about the Senator’s choice of accessories? The mitten maker believes it reflects the Vermonters’ creativity and passion for the environment

“The fact that these mittens, made from recycled and reused materials, made it onto the national stage really is a reputation for Vermont,” said Ellis. “I’m really proud he brought them to D hatC and that he was there for this historic moment “

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