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Rose City ‘Til I Die: Oregon Team, Oregon Blanket, Oregon Pride!

Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to honor the Portland Timbers with a limited-edition blanket. The edition of 1,975 reflects the Timbers’ beginnings in 1975 as part of the North American Soccer League. Now part of Major League Soccer, the Timbers are cheered on by the Timbers Army, a European-style rooting section that sets the standard for team support in the MLS.

timbers blanket by pendleton

The blanket’s designer, Laura Jost, used her bird’s eye view from the Timbers Army section as inspiration for a stylized representation of the beautiful game. The goalkeepers hang back as two teams converge on the heart of the Rose City, while flags wave, drums pound, colored smoke is released for each goal, and Timber Joey brandishes his chainsaw. Above it all, chant leaders lead the Timbers Army in their battle cry: Rose City ‘Til I Die.


This hometown blanket will be available for preorder through our Pendleton Home Store and on our site starting today, October 8th. The actual blankets will arrive in plenty of time to be wrapped for gift-giving.


This is your blanket for your team, with a design chosen by Timbers fans. A portion of sales will support Fields for All, a nonprofit alliance between the Timbers, Pendleton Woolen Mills and many more, devoted to creating safe, healthy playing surfaces for underserved communities. You can read about the unveiling of a field here: Fields for All Unveiling in Gresham, Oregon.

We asked Laura Jost, the blanket’s designer, to tell us a little about herself, and to describe her inspiration for this beautiful blanket.

Laura, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Portland and lived all over rural Oregon. My birthday is 9/18, usually very close to Pendleton Round-Up, so my cake usually had a frosting cowgirl or the like. I still love riding horses and the kids love that I am excellent at catching frogs. I moved back to Portland in 1995.

What drew you to the idea of designing a Pendleton blanket?

Pendleton is a brand that is very near to my heart. I drive past the mill and/or stop in every time I visit my parents. My mother instilled my love of Pendleton wools. I received my first blanket in grade school and I still have it: the Glacier National Park blanket. There is Pendleton wool in most rooms of my home; the kids each have a blanket, the throws and pillows in my living room, the blanket on our bed, our beach towels. They are works of art to me.

What’s your design background?

I don’t have a formal design background, but I was raised learning to sew, knit, and garden and I was always artistic: drawing, writing, painting, singing, dancing. I am technically a stay-at-home mom, though I don’t do much staying at home. I volunteer in various capacities at school, and I’m a freelance writer, regularly published in NW Kids Magazine. I love to work with fabric, customizing and sewing clothing for my family. I’m what most people call a jack-of-all-trades.

And now we come to the Portland Timbers. Tell us what the Timbers mean to you.

I have always been drawn to rooting for the “good guys” and that’s exactly what the Timbers feel like for me. The stadium experience just reinforces my love for the game. My husband teases me because I cheer for the players like I’m their mother. I love the camaraderie in the Army. I love the cheering to the very end, cheering even for the misses/good tries. I love the emotional high-fives and hugs when we score. I love watching the Timbers’ kids with their fathers out on the field at the end of the game. I love the celebration in it all. I love waking up the next morning a little hoarse. I just love it!

 When I saw the contest, I was at home sick for several days and did the preliminary layout and drawing to keep my mind busy while I was recovering. I wanted it to look like a Timbers match: the wild flags in the air, the sound of the drums, the colored goal smoke, the field, the players, the Army, the heart of the city and the love I have for Portland: even the little rosettes came to represent the chant leaders and Joey.

 When I looked at it, I saw a wild night of cheering on the home team at the top of your lungs, but it could never compare to innate beauty of a Pendleton, so my entry became just another paper on the counter. I almost didn’t send it in, but my son saw the drawing on the table just before the deadline and gasped, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful!” So, I had to send it in.

 I never thought in a million years I’d hear back from anyone! The fan voting was excruciating. I spent the last day hiding out with the kids as much as possible and when I saw the final numbers, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s still a little hard for me to believe. When I think about seeing a blanket in person, my stomach jumps!


Ours too, Laura, ours too.

Remember, order soon. We expect the edition to sell out quickly, so please don’t wait. Order here: Timbers Blanket


When Pendleton meets Packard: A Disneyland Mystery

When Ty Bennet sent us photos of this beauty, we were impressed by this pristine Packard.

37900_416426407652_1893938_n1948 Packard station wagon.

According to Ty, we were looking at the following: 1948 Packard 8 Station Wagon Woodie Woody. Restored. Excellent condition. Lexington Green Metallic paint. Powerful and Smooth Straight 8 engine.

38313_416426457652_2903728_nHere’s a photo of that engine…

39723_416427602652_4113015_nMore from Ty: High Speed rear gear for modern touring. Plaid “Highlander” style interior. Real Wood Northern Birch rails over maple panels. Burl wood grained dashboard and door trim. Radial wide white wall tires. Ready for Summer touring.

37576_416426502652_5618075_nThis car has beautiful lines and trim.

38494_416426532652_7274108_nBut here’s a little more visual information on the interior of the car.  Does that upholstery fabric ring a bell? Door panels, too.


Rear interior–even the ashtray is covered in the tartan.


Yes, that is very definitely a Pendleton fabric, a traditional tartan. And look at the label!

39254_416425447652_5025608_nWe’ve worked with truck and car companies on co-branded interiors in the past, but we don’t have any information on this particular car. This car is labeled with the special Disney label we used on clothing in our Frontierland Dry Goods Emporium. We don’t know if the fabric was purchased there, or if the car was upholstered as part of a display. Perhaps some fans might have information or memories?

Our president, Mort Bishop III, explained, “I am not aware of this project forWalt Disney. However with our Pendleton exhibit and store in Frontierland we worked closely with Walt Disney…Pendleton was one of the three original lessees in the park when it opened. It would not surprise me if we provided fabric to him for a Packard.”

37468_416425662652_7789419_nBirch over Maple wood panels and dash; it’s made like a boat inside–what craftsmanship.

39177_416426647652_2554072_nTy sold the car to a private party at auction. Someone has a nice touring vehicle for all seasons.



Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Tilikum_Crossing_Jan_2015_wiki_free use

September saw the opening of Portland’s Tilikum Crossing, the newest of Portland’s bridges. This one is special for a few reaasons. First, it’s a pedestrian/transit bridge that is only open to pedestrians, the MAX light rail line, buses, bicycles and emergency vehicles. Second, it is named in honor of the people who inhabited this area long before the Jacksons, Hawthornes and Morrisons. Tilikum is a Chinook jargon word that means “people, tribe or family.” It was chosen to honor the Multnomah, Cascade, Clackamas, and other Chinookan peoples who have been here as long as 14,000 years ago.

The name was chosen through an initial round of popular vote, with the final name being chosen by a Trimet committee. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde were part of the bridge’s dedication, and donated artwork by Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson. The three pieces are collectively titled, “We Have Always Lived Here.”

Two basalt pillars stand at the east and west ends of the bridge. The bronze medallion, five feet in diameter, hangs at the eastern side of the bridge, facing north.  According to the tribe. “The basalt carvings depict Tayi, or headmen, with their people, and the medallion shows Morning Star and her children in the center, which is a reference to the heavens, and Coyote and the first humans on the outer ring, referencing the Earth.”

As part of the opening ceremony for the bridge, The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde commissioned a limited edition blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills, incorporating the stunning artwork by Mr. Robinson.


Each blanket bore this special patch.


As we understand it, most of the commemorative blankets were given as gifts, and a small amount were sold on Tilikum Crossing’s opening day. We are so honored to have been asked to participate in this event.  Below, enjoy some shots from the bridge’s dedication, including those of the artist being wrapped in another Grand Ronde blanket, and some beautiful closeups of his work. Photos courtesy of Trimet.

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Jackson Sundown, the Bishop Brothers, and the Pendleton Round-Up. Let’er Buck!

Note: In honor of the Pendleton Round-Up, we’re sharing an older post about Jackson Sundown, who is one of the great riders of the American West. It explains our company’s long and rich connection with the Pendleton Round-Up. And you might want to read our earlier post about an exhibit of Jackson Sundown’s personal effects, with photos of modern-day volunteers raising the actual teepee in the historic shot below: see it here.  Let’er Buck!

The Pendleton Round-up  starts this week—an amazing rodeo adventure in Pendleton, Oregon, celebrating its 102nd year. Our designers travel there for inspiration, entertainment, and to watch our westernwear in action on rodeo competitors and fans. Oregon Public Broadcasting has a video titled “Pendleton Round-Up: The Wild West Way”  that’s well worth watching, and Cowboys & Indians magazine has some great background.

Among the historic images, you’ll see this shot:

This is Roy Bishop and Jackson Sundown posing at the Pendleton Round-Up. This image actually made the fashion blogs in 2009, when recreations of Roy Bishop’s fringed coat and Jackson Sundown’s oval-print shirt were part of Pendleton’s Centennial offering. But the story is about more than fashion history. This photo is about rodeo history.

The association of Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Round-Up goes back to the very beginning, when along with his brothers Clarence and Chauncey, Roy Bishop established the first mill at its current location in Pendleton, Oregon. The brothers combined their production and retailing expertise with an idled mill, a river, and fine fleece provided by local wool growers. Back then, PWM was a blanket company. Our first and most valued customer was the Native American, and the Bishop brothers worked hard to fill the strong demand (we still sell approximately 60% of our blankets to Native customers every year).

The Bishops were key to the conception of the first Round-Up. Rodeos are big business now, and they were big business then. It was an undertaking to get to a rodeo, especially for a working cowboy. The Round-Up needed something special to draw the crowd. It was unheard-of to include Native Americans to a Western rodeo, but Roy Bishop rode out to meet tribal leaders and invite their participation. He was politely received and quietly listened to, but he left without receiving a definite answer.

The rodeo’s starting date approached, and still he waited. On the morning before the rodeo began, Roy stepped out on the mill’s loading dock. In the distance, he had his answer when he saw the dust of the tribes as they made their way to the Indian campground. The cooperation between the Columbia Basin tribes and the Pendleton Round-up, unique among modern rodeos, continues to this day.

So what about the other person in this photo?

Jackson Sundown was born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn in 1863 in Montana. During the Nez Perce war of 1877, he rode with Sitting Bull, retreating to Canada with the Sioux. He eventually returned to Washington, then to Idaho, then to Montana, supporting himself by working, breeding and breaking horses.

In 1912, at the age of 49, Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn began entering rodeo events in Canada and Idaho using the name Jackson Sundown. The crowds went wild when he tied his braids under his chin, lifted his sombrero and started the ride, his wooly angora chaps streaming.

He took so many prizes that other riders refused to challenge him. Stock owners pulled their animals when they saw his name on the list of possible riders, as after Jackson Sundown rode a horse, it might be so thoroughly mastered that it never bucked again.

Jackson Sundown entered the Pendleton Round-Up several times, placing but not winning. In 1915, in a controversial decision, he placed third and decided to retire from rodeo riding. But a sculptor named Alexander Phimister Proctor prevailed upon him to try one more time. In 1916, he did. Jackson Sundown came out of the gate on a horse named Angel, and the spectacular ride that followed has become legendary. The crowd went wild, and threatened to take down the grandstands board-by-board if Sundown wasn’t awarded the title he had so clearly won.

At twice the age of his competitors, the lanky six-foot tall Indian not only won the bucking championship, but the all-around title as well. He lived out his life on the Nez Perce reservation, raising horses and passing on his skills until his death in 1923. He’s been inducted into more rodeo and athletic halls-of-fame than I have space to list. He is a key character in a novel by Ken Kesey, The Last Go ‘Round.

Jackson Sundown is also featured in a terrific documentary called “American Cowboys.” This is a detailed look at the frustration of competitive riding for contestants of color. It was playing at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center just outside Pendleton, which is a fantastic place to learn about the history of the tribes of the Columbia Basin. It may or may not be part of their permanent installation, but this documentary includes footage of Sundown riding. Sadly, photographs of him riding rare; this may be the only one.

It is sad that a man who possessed such incredible skills in horsemanship isn’t memorialized while sitting a horse. But there are plenty images of Jackson Sundown that show just how much he understood the role of wardrobe in a great performance. Chaps, hat, and that aloof expression. Jackson Sundown had it all, a fact well-illustrated by this logo for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Yes, that is Jackson Sundown.

So today, in honor of the Pendleton Round-Up, please enjoy these images of Jackson Sundown; Nez Perce warrior, compatriot of Sitting Bull, bronc rider, horse breeder, main character, documentary subject, fashion blog icon, Round-Up Champion and Inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

And a true proponent of individual style.







Greg Hatten’s Woodenboat Adventures: Rainier National Park’s Waterways

As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, our friend Greg Hatten, the WoodenBoat adventurer, is floating some of our country’s National Parks as part of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. For this trip, he invited along Seth Patterson, an avid sportsman and photographer who happens to work at Pendleton.


Greg is an accomplished guide and fisherman who splits his time between Missouri and Oregon. He is happiest on the river in his wooden drift boat, the Portola, built to the exact specs of the original Portola piloted by conservationist Martin Litton down the Colorado River in 1964 as part of a historic journey that helped save the Grand Canyon. Greg’s 2014 recreation of this journey is part of his larger commitment to our National Parks.

But this trip to Rainier National Park did not involve the Portola, as Greg explains his his blog post:

This park is special to me. I’ve admired it from a distance and experienced it up close.  I’ve hiked the trails, skied the slopes, climbed the mountain, slept up at cold Camp Muir, and enjoyed the cozy warmth of Paradise Lodge.  As familiar as I am with Rainier, I’ve never explored the waterways. Since it’s impossible to put a handcrafted wood drift boat into the trickling streams of the park in the early stages of their life cycles, I did my initial exploring by boot instead of by boat.

I picked the Cowlitz for my river experience. It’s the largest river of the six and named for the Native American Indian tribe that still calls this area “home.” I hiked up the path to the glacier that gives it life and then, just outside the park boundary, I fished it – with a favorite fly-fishing friend on his favorite stretch of that river.


There was a time when Rick LeBlanc and I chased steelhead all over the Pacific Northwest – once even riding a historic old canyon train in the very Northeast corner of Oregon to catch wild winter steelhead as we struggled to keep the eyes of our fly rods from icing shut. Rick is a fisherman’s fisherman. Though it had been years since we were together on a river we wasted no time in picking up exactly where we left off – a brothers’ bond of rivers, fish, flimsy rods and fancy flies. 


Yes, that’s our blanket under that fancy flyGreg’s Parks t-shirt is here and his Ranger Plaid Trail Shirt is here.


And wouldn’t your camp coffee taste great from this mug?

You can read the rest of Greg’s post at his Woodenboat Adventure blog. It’s a thrilling ride with a satisfying conclusion, and wonderful photography of its own. We had so many terrific shots to choose from that we decided not to duplicate. Over at his blog, you can click on Greg’s photos to see the larger versions of each photo. It’s the next best thing to having your own fly fishing adventure in Rainier National Park.


We’re looking forward to Greg’s next trip! Who knows where these wooden boats will take us?


Read the full post: Greg Hatten at Rainier National Park

See Pendleton’s Rainier National Park gear: Rainier National Park

Photography: Many thanks to the mighty Seth Patterson


Star Wars and Pendleton Blankets Unveiled for Force Friday

It was a wild party last night, as this shot from our friend Carrie shows.

10603789_10203657373675476_4087456737516796336_nOne of the highlights was the showing of our unveiling video. Give it a watch!

The unveiling that mattered was the blankets, of course. These works of art were designed by Derek Roberts, the gifted artist behind our incredibly popular NIKE N7 blanket. He’s a lifelong fan of Star Wars, and NIKE was kind enough to allow us to work with him on a project near and dear to his heart.

Here are the details. 1977 is a year that forever changed our perception of space, adventure and heroism. In commemoration, Pendleton has woven each blanket in a limited edition, hand-numbered series of 1,977. Each design is available as a single blanket, or as part of a matched-number set of four for the ultimate Star Wars collector.


A New Hope

Inspired by the iconic Star Wars poster. Luke Skywalker begins a journey that will change the galaxy, along with Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader.


The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader and the storm troopers have regrouped after the destruction of the Death Star, with Darth Vader leading the hunt for Luke Skywalker.

3Return of the Jedi

Powering into light speed, Luke Skywalker heads a mission to rescue Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, and face Darth Vader one last time.

4The Force Awakens

If you dare, gaze upon a new Star Wars character from the dark side, with exclusive imagery from the newest chapter in the Star Wars saga.

All4The Ultimate Collector’s Set

Purchase a matched-number set of all four blankets. Available only through preorder and for a limited time.

You should preorder soon, as sets and singles are selling briskly for #ForceFriday. Single blankets will deliver 11/25/2015. Matched sets for the Ultimate Star Wars collector will deliver 10/31/2015.

Star Wars and Pendleton for #ForceFriday Fun. It’s on.

Pendleton Star Wars invitation

Come to the party!

We’re closing down Portland’s NW Broadway on Thursday night to celebrate the preorder launch of our fantastic, amazing Star Wars Pendleton product. What’s this product, you ask? Well, we can’t even tell you until #ForceFriday officially begins, but here’s a hint: it’s limited-edition, iconically Pendleton and incredibly beautiful.

Star Wars Pendleton

No, this is not the product. You can’t see the product until #ForceFriday.

But don’t forget the party! We’re taking it to the streets!

On September 3rd , please join the #ForceFriday Block Party in front of our Home Store in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. The party will happen on Broadway between Davis and Everett streets. What to expect: food carts, costume party, street performers, classic cars, prizes, giveaways, music, movie clips and special appearances. Event goes from 10 P.M. to 1 A.M. Pre-orders for the special product start September 4th at 12:01 A.M.

Star Wars Pendleton

No, this is not the product, either. But it’s so cool that you have to come to the party, yes?

Best of all? If you come to the party, you enter for a chance to win an Ultimate Collector’s set of Pendleton Star Wars product, all yours.

If you want to see the product in person, you need to come to the party; or, you can see photos at our website at . Preorder there, too!

Star Wars Pendleton

This is not the special product, either. This is your invitation. Use it.

Star Wars. Pendleton. Star Wars…Pendleton…Star Wars! Pendleton! YES!

Can you tell we’re excited? More information on Facebook.

#NationalDogDay: Celebrate Your Best Friend

You can’t bring your dog to work at Pendleton (yet) but we are just as crazy about dogs as everyone else in Oregon. This is a city that loves its canines, with off-leash parks, dog daycares, and businesses that encourage you to enjoy patio seating with your pooch.

When we decided to launch Pendleton for Pets, we went looking for some fine canines to serve as ambassadogs for our new line. We often feature them on our Instagram, and sometimes they appear in your email inbox.


Since it’s National Dog Day, we’d like to introduce you to our Pendleton Petbassadors.



Leroy is a photogenic terrier who appreciates the finer things in life, like laps, walks and warm fires. You can follow along with his adventures on Instagram.




Loki the Wolfdog is an Instagram favorite. He spends most of his time on adventures that take him offleash and off the beaten path. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Facebook.



Rusty Rodas is a charming Golden Retriever who takes adorable photos in clothing on Instagram. When he’s not modeling, he relaxes in style.


Enjoy National Dog Day, and be sure to check out our line for pets when you can. Your best friend loves Pendleton, too!

PDX Adult Soap Box Derby, ADX Portland, and The Arrow

In early August, we got a shout-out on Twitter from Matt Preston, asking if we’d be interested in helping with the finishing  of his Soap Box Derby car. Matt is part the ADX Portland community, and we will talk more about the derby, but first we want to tell you about ADX. ADX brings together thinkers, makers, students and experts in a shared 14,000 square foot fabrication facility where dreams are made. Once you read about it, you will want to be part of it.


Now, back to the derby. Each year since 1997, Portland has been home to the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby. According to their website, “Now in its 18th year, the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby continues a beloved summertime tradition at Mt. Tabor Parkl—a community event that draws crowds of 7,000 – 10,000 people to watch a colorful and sidesplitting spectacle of 40+ coaster cars powered only by gravity, whimsy, and attitude.”


Matt’s entry was framed but not finished.


20150814_154753 20150814_184730

Would we be willing to furnish some of our wool to cover it? Oh you bet.

Matt made a trip to our Woolen Mill Store in Milwaukie, Oregon. With the help of our manager, Mary, he picked his favorite. You might remember this Serape pattern from our second collaboration with Doc Martens.




It wasn’t quite “off to the races” yet. First, Matt went back to ADX for final construction.







We were delighted to see that Matt was inspired by “The Point,” the Harry Nisson 70s classic.


Arrow was a great best friend. Here’s a little clip for those of you who weren’t around back then.



The derby was held on August 15th. We don’t have any images of Matt’s car in action. It was sidelined in a crash! Here’s what Matt had to say about it: The race was a great time and we got a lot of comments on our craft and on the wool covering. Unfortunately, our tire wrecked during the race and so the craft only got one good run in her, but we will be reusing the wool and structure for next year’s race and it will be even better!



So, let’s all think good thoughts for next year. You can read about the festivities here. And if you want to watch “The Point,” you can do that right here.

You won’t regret how you spent this particular hour of your life.

Enjoy Summer Picnics with Hand-Stitched Home by Susan Beal

Summer won’t last forever, no matter how much you wish it would.


copyright 2014 by Burcu Avsar

If you’re the crafty type, you might like to take Pendleton along on one of your summer adventures. We suggest you check out this Picnic Blanket, a project designed by the super-talented Stacy Brisbee. It’s one of the projects curated by Susan Beal in her book, Hand-Stitched Home, published by The Taunton Press.

Hand-Stitched Home Cover

Susan is part of Portland’s extensive crafting community, and a frequent visitor to our Woolen Mill Store. She blogs at West Coast Crafty.


As a crafter, Susan appreciates the properties of wool that make it so wonderful to work with. Her book is full of ideas, patterns and advice, with projects geared to all levels of crafting skill. We love everything she’s done with our wool-by-the-yard.

You can find all kinds of beautiful wools for this blanket at  our website. If you’re local, take a trip to our Woolen Mill Store. You can follow Susan Beal here:


Instagram: @westcoastcrafty

Buy the book: Hand-Stitched Home


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