KASSON, Minn. - If you are on social media, you've likely seen the image of Senator Bernie Sanders wearing homemade mittens and a disposable mask inserted into every picture you can imagine. Just as popular as the image, are his mittens, which were made from recycled sweaters by a teacher in Vermont.
When local artist Pennie Eisenbeis saw the images of Senator Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, the immediately recognized the mittens as a similar style as the ones she makes. For the last ten years, she's repurposed sweaters, coats, and blankets to patch handwear together. With the popularity of the photo of Bernie Sanders, Eisenbeis is also seeing a growing demand for her "Bernie" mittens.
"I think it really shows individual taste and it kind of puts us on the map a little bit, and I think it's a good thing. Rather than just wearing store-bought mittens, you can wear something that's a fashion statement," says Eisenbeis, who also works under the artist name Pen Art.
If you'd like to channel your inner Senator Sanders, or are just looking for a warm and sustainable pair of mittens, you can purchase from Eisenbeis on Facebook or at Trail Creek Coffee Roasters in Kasson.
Eisenbeis will even make custom pairs, or make them out of a loved one's sweater you bring her. No two pairs are quite the same.