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Happy Birthday, Yosemite National Park

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This week marked the birthday of Yosemite National Park. Nearly 4 million people a year visit this World heritage site, which spans 761,268 acres and crosses the slopes of the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains in California.  With its diverse wildlife, sky-sweeping Sequoias and distinctive rock formations, this wilderness contains some of the most rugged beauty of the American West.

It’s our deepest hope that we can resume enjoying our national treasures soon. In the meantime, Pendleton continues to honor our National parks with a growing collection of distinctive blankets that includes Yellowstone, Badlands, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Rainier, Acadia, Crater Lake and Glacier.

Pendleton National Park Blankets

 

Each blanket bears the Pendleton label along with a special label depicting an image with an important natural feature specific to each park. All blankets are 100% pure virgin wool and made in the USA.

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This is a beautiful time of year to see the western parks. Let’s hope our families can enjoy them soon!

Delta Sky on Japanese Style and American Heritage

If you’ve flown Delta recently, you probably saw this fascinating feature about the Japanese respect for American Heritage brands, “Channeling Style.”

Enjoy it. We did!

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Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® and Easy-Care Blankets: It’s Easy Being Green

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From the sheep to the shelf, Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship. That sounds admirable, doesn’t it? But those lofty words would mean nothing at all if Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products weren’t soft, richly colored and delightful to touch.

There are many, many products out there claiming to be green. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® has been Cradle to Cradle Certified© by MBDC, a respected product and process design firm dedicated to promoting sustainable production. If you’re curious, you can find out more here.  The best way to explain it? If you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it (but please don’t!), it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition.

Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® is an innovation in the Umatilla wool we’ve woven for over a century that uses nontoxic biodegradable dyes. Pendleton is known for the depth and intensity of our colors. Vegetable dyes are not as stable as chemical dyes, and the formula took some tinkering, especially the red spectrum. But with a great deal of trial and a reasonable amount of error, we produced Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® that we could guarantee for quality.

So maybe you want to wrap yourself up in environmental responsibility this year, or maybe you just want something beautiful, wooly and Pendleton. In either case, we have plenty to show you.

Our washable bed blankets are offered in ten plaids, eight of which are shown below.

Eight Plaids

You can see all of them here. Love those blanket-stitched edges. These are washable, and get softer with each trip through the spin cycle.

The solid blankets (18 colors) and matching shams coordinate back to the bed blanket plaids so they can be used together, or used alone for a clean, contemporary look. Here are eight of the shades:

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Wool is a perfect choice for top-of-bed. There is a subtlety to the texture, nothing shiny or artificial about it, and the color will remain true forever. You can add accent interest with pillows  or…

…maybe the fringed Eco-Wise Wool Lambswool Throw.

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This is actually a lambswool/merino blend, and if you know your wools, you’ll appreciate what merino does for the hand. It is soft.  The plaids coordinate back to both the plaid and solid bed blankets, or stand on their own in any room of your home.

There are accent pillows, fabric by-the-yard, window panels and more available in Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®. Give us a visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.

Kagavi’s Vintage Football Blanket, made by Pendleton

We do so many custom blankets over the course of any given year, but the blanket we’ve done for Kagavi has a particularly interesting backstory. The concept and design are woven together from college football lore and the personal history of Kagavi’s founder, Joshua Kagavi.

Using the earliest college football jerseys as inspirations, Joshua designed a blanket that celebrates the achievements of Jack Trice, “…a tall broad man with a soft smile who became Iowa State University’s first black athlete in 1922.” This is a fascinating tale, and you should read it here, in Josh’s words.

And then, there’s the blanket:


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Beautiful, yes? Napped for loft and warmth, blanket-stitched edges and Pendleton craftsmanship in a limited edition. For more information, you can go here. And go read the story.

Love and Mercy – it’s a wrap!

Filming has wrapped on “Love and Mercy,” the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic. The costume department came to us for–you guessed it–many, many of the Beach Boy Plaid board shirts worn Brian and the Boys on the cover of Surfer Girl and various 45s. Remember, before they were the Beach boys, they were the Pendletones.

The movie won’t be out until next year, but we thought you’d enjoy these shots from filming.

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The Beach Boys go back in time On the Set of "Love & Mercy"

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More information on the movie can be found here and here.

The Heritage Collection; centuries of beautiful blankets.

With our Heritage Collection, Pendleton has brought many of our classic patterns back to life in our USA mills. Using designs from our archives as old as 1896, we’ve painstakingly rewoven blankets from the heyday of the Native Trade blanket. These blankets display a dizzying richness of color and geometry.

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Canyon Diablo:

This is the newest addition to the Heritage Collection. Fifty thousand years ago the Canyon Diablo meteorite made its mark on the Arizona landscape. Millennium later, pre-historic Native Americans discovered meteor fragments along the canyon rim. Many Southwest cultures since have considered these fragments to be gifts from the gods endowed with other worldly energy. Today the crater made by the meteorite sits on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Flagstaff. This is an Overall pattern blanket.

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Gatekeeper:

The Gatekeeper is an original Pendleton design from 1935. An eight-point star is the central figure. This common design element among the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota and Nakoda) often represents the morning star, gatekeeper of the day, shows the way to the light and knowledge. This blanket is a beautiful example of a Centerpoint pattern – one that contains a central design element that falls within a band through the center of the blanket.

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Evening Star:

The Evening Star design features a traditional star symbol emblazoned on the colors of the sunset. The outlined Venus symbols–representing both the morning and evening star–that inspired this blanket have been found on rock art throughout North and South America. Stories of the Evening Star (the planet Venus) are found in a number of Native American myths. This is a Nine Element blanket.

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Silver Bark:

The original Silver Bark blanket dates from the 1920s and was rediscovered in a private collection. The design features stylized arrow, star, diamond and waterbug motifs in colors inspired by the white and grey bark of Aspen trees against a blue sky. The original blanket was bound in satin, like a bed blanket. Our re-creation has a wool binding (twin sizes) or a suede trim (full, queen and king sizes). . It’s a stunning example of an Overall pattern.

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Turtle:

This has been a favorite in the Heritage Collection for almost a decade. The Turtle Blanket is a re-coloration of an early 1900s Pendleton design, and is one of the longest offerings in the heritage Collection. It pays tribute to the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest participatory democracies on earth, consisting of the Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga (and later the Tuscarora) Nations. The Turtle design was inspired by Iroquois, primarily Mohawk, creation legend. This blanket is another example of Centerpoint design in which three major design elements fall in a row down the center of the blanket.

The Heritage Collection blankets are beautiful, but they don’t stay in the line forever. All are available at www.pendleton-usa.com.

Rick Steber signs RED WHITE BLACK at the Pendleton Round-Up

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If you’re heading to the Pendleton Round-Up, you will want to meet author Rick Steber. He will be signing copies of his book, Red White Black, at the Pendleton store in Pendleton, Oregon on Saturday, September 12th, 9 AM to 12 PM.

The story of the Pendleton Round-Up is inextricably linked to the story of Jackson Sundown, a rodeo champion from the Nez Perce tribe.  Red White Black tells the story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, when three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – competed in the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo.

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Rick Steber, who spent nearly four decades researching this story, has more than 30 titles under his belt and sales of over a million books. Rick is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award – Best Western Novel. He is a keen observer of the changing American West and he articulates these changes in prose that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and creative. This is your chance to meet him and have him sign a piece of Round-Up history for you.

The Paddle to Quinault Journey

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We received a letter from Kathleen Praxel about the Paddle to Quinault, a water journey that takes place each summer in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.  Participants travel the Salish Sea, a network of waterways connecting  the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Puget Sound.

This year’s Paddle to Quinault Journey embarked from Squaxin Island and landed at Taholah, Quinault tribal headquarters on the mouth of the Quinault River.  From July 15th to August 1st, this year’s journey covered over 300 miles of waterways including Hood Canal, the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca, and the Pacific Ocean from Neah Bay to Taholah.

Over 46,000 spectators watched the paddlers at different points on the journey, with visitors from New Zealand and Australia, as well as many tribes from Canada. Next year the event will start from Taholah and the paddle will be to Bella Bella in Canada – a distance of some 700 miles.

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This is Martha Boyer, Quinault tribal member and skipper of the “Chi? Swit”(pronounced Chee e Swite), a canoe named for Martha’s grandmother. She is posed before a Raven and the Box of Knowledge blanket. Martha’s photo and pictures of the Chi? Swit are in the Lake Quinault Museum, Quinault, Washington.  The museum was opened 10 years ago and includes history, photos and artifacts from the nearby communities of Quinault, Amanda Park, Queets, Clearwater, Neilton, Humptulips, and Taholah.  You can learn more about the museum on its Facebook page.

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This is  group of  “pullers” with Kathleen’s husband, Ed, at their place on the North Shore of Lake Quinault.

The journey is designed to strengthen participants’ ties to their history and homeplace. To learn more about the Journey and the people involved, please enjoy this feature in the North Kitsap Herald, “Canoe Journey helps participants connect with who they are | Paddle to Quinault.” Thanks to Kathleen for telling us about this journey and sharing her wonderful photos. And for those of you who are interested in the blanket, here is the story:

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This intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest – both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasures – the sun, the moon and the stars – in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund to help support tribal colleges.

Pendleton opening in Milwaukee WI’s Historic Third Ward

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We’re pleased to announce the opening of our newest store in Milwaukee, Winsconsin’s historic Third Ward.

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We will throw open the doors (or roll them up, this is a firehouse after all) on Labor Day weekend to welcome visitors into a flagship store that celebrates Pendleton’s history with special fixtures, visuals and merchandise. You’re going to love our mix of women’s casual, men’s heritage, blankets and special brands.

Grand opening details are below. We’ll celebrate our opening with a weaving demonstration by fiber artist Susan Buss. Susan is a fiber artist who has been featured on Martha Stewart. She’s been chronicling her prep for the demo, and will bring the process of weaving wool to life for you when you stop by. We have gifts, we have special offers, and we have our special lines, The Portland Collection and Thomas Kay.

Do we sound excited? We are excited. We can’t wait to invite you in. And what better doors to open than those of the Ward’s firehouse?

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The firehouse in which we’re located was restored to its former glory after the Third Ward fire.  The bronze statue out front captures a firefighter and his faithful companion waiting for the next bell. This is just one of the historic buildings in a fascinating American neighborhood that actually began as an urban swamp drained in the early 1900s by the Irish immigrant community.  They built homes, wharves, warehouses, rendering plants,  shipping house and more. The railroad came through in 1856, helping to form a trade route from Lake Michigan to the West.

The Ward was thriving in 1852 when a fire started in the Water Street Union Oil & Paint Company.  Fanned by 50 mph winds, the neighborhood ignited. Help came from as far away as Chicago and Oshkosh, but 440 buildings burned and 1900 people (mostly Irish families) were left homeless. This drastic fire accounts for the cohesive look of the Third Ward. Milwaukee’s leading architects came together to redesign the commercial buildings. Many stonemasons and bricklayers were needed during the 35 years of reconstruction. Italian immigrants skilled in these trades settled the neighborhood and by 1915, the neighborhood had transformed into a predominantly (and proudly) Italian community.

The Historic Third Ward was built on rail and water trade, and its fortunes rose and fell with those transport methods. The birth of the American freeway system and growth of the trucking industry led to the Ward’s decline.

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By the 1970s, the neighborhood was neglected and embattled, with an unclear future. Milwaukee rallied around this historic district, and began the long road to reclamation. In the 1990s, the Third Ward stepped up the renewal plan with streetscapes, parking structures and a riverwalk. Today, the neighborhood is a marriage of historic buildings and modern planning.

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With its public market, lofts, galleries, theaters and restaurants, the neighborhood’s renaissance is ongoing. Pendleton is proud to be part of it.

The grand opening starts 8/30/13. Come see for these special events:

- Discover The Portland Collection for Fall 2013

- Introducing The Thomas Kay Collection, celebrating our 150 years of weaving craftsmanship and English heritage

- See the new 2013 Pendleton Home Collection

- FREE Thomas Kay Muffler with purchase of Thomas Kay product

- Enter to win gift cards and Pendleton apparel and home goods

Route 66 on Route 66

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We got word of some happy Pendleton fans this last week when we received this photo of our Route 66 blanket on the front seat of a 1953 Hudson Hornet. Thanks to Anna and Dean for letting us share it, and from their friend Carolyn for letting us know about it. If you missed our post about this blanket and the route that inspired it, just click here.

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