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Pendleton Threads is undergoing some changes for the better. If you’re looking for a specific post, it will return soon. Thank you for your patience!
Here at Pendleton, we have had the honor of partnering with The American Indian College Fund for more than two decades. In that time our scholarship program has raised more than $1.6 million dollars for scholarships to tribal colleges. Through this scholarship program, recipients are able to cover most of their yearly tuition and books. Our commitment is strong and ongoing, and recognized in the following letter from the President and CEO, American Indian College Fund, Cheryl Crazy Bull.
The American Indian College Fund and Pendleton Woolen Mills have enjoyed a relationship for more than 20 years. Our collaboration has made Native people more visible by introducing the public to beautiful blanket creations that are reflective of Native cultures and histories through its American Indian College Fund blanket collection, which also includes tribal college student-designed blankets and blankets from the Nike N7 collection. As part of its relationship with the College Fund, Pendleton created an endowed scholarship to support Native higher education which, as of this writing, has exceeded $1 million. We are delighted that Pendleton has committed to ensuring that Native people have access to a higher education. We know this endowed scholarship will continue to grow and support Native students in their educations for generations to come.
Our relationship started with blankets. Pendleton offers blankets in stunning designs and colors with meaningful stories inspired by Native people from across the nation in the American Indian College Fund collection. Pendleton blankets are cherished by families for generations for their quality, designs, and stories—and while creating greater visibility of Native people, the line also creates awareness of the American Indian College Fund’s mission to invest in Native students and tribal college education to transform lives and communities.
Today 14.5% of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) have a college degree—half that of other groups (35%), according to the U.S. Census. At the American Indian College Fund, we know that education is the answer to creating vibrant Native communities and are committed to closing that gap through scholarship support and programs to support Native students’ academic success and career achievement. And thanks to the longtime support of Pendleton, 1,250 American Indian and Alaska Native students have received scholarship support for higher education since 2003.
As we celebrate the $1 million milestone of Pendleton’s endowed scholarship, we know this is not an ending but a beginning. We are blessed to have had the friendship and financial support of Pendleton for more than 20 years and we look forward to seeing how the seeds they have planted will blossom as we continue to work together to help Native students achieve their dreams.
Cheryl Crazy Bull
President and CEO, American Indian College Fund
If you’d like to support the College Fund, you can do that through direct donation.
Information is here: Donating to the College Fund
If you’re interested in Pendleton’s College Fund blankets you can see our current selection at http://www.pendleton-usa.com – if there is a blanket you are hoping to find that isn’t featured on our website, please contact the Pendleton Home store at 503-535-5444. We will do our best to locate it for you at one of our Pendleton stores.
Ah, the serape. This bold striped blanket reads modern, but it has been around a long time. In fact, a (very) vintage Pendleton Serape will be featured in Martin Scorcese’s upcoming Apple Original film, Killers of the Flower Moon. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart and Lily Gladstone plays Mollie Burkhart in the film depicting the true story of the Osage tribe murders in the 1920s. In this promo shot (courtesy Apple Original Filsms), Lily Gladstone is wrapped in a vintage Pendleton fringed shawl serape, provided to the film by our friend and vintage blanket expert Barry Friedman.
The serape’s roots are in the Mexican weaving tradition, but it is now common to both Spanish and Native American textiles. Here’s a photo of a Native family in a historic Babbitt Brothers wagon with a serape peeking over the edge. This was taken in the Southwest, where the Babbitts plied (and still ply) their trade.
Colorful, sturdy and functional, this blanket shawl was part of life in the traditional Mexican home. It could serve as clothing, bedding, and shelter. The serape is known by many names throughout Mexico, including chamarro, cobiga, and gaban. It can be woven of a variety of materials and patterns but is generally lighter in weight. Different regions use different palettes, from the elegant neutrals of the Mexican highlands to the bold gradients of Coahuila.
Pendleton’s serapes are woven of 82% wool/18% cotton in bands of gradient colors to achieve that beautiful eye-popping dimensional effect. This is your perfect spring and summer blanket, just waiting to be invited along wherever you go. And this year we have a new design in Aqua.
All made in the USA and available at www.pendleton-usa.com .
Portland is a city divided by a river, and united by bridges. Because the Willamette River divides our city neatly into East and West, and because there are wonderful places to visit on each side, a Portlander spends a lot of time traveling these bridges by foot, by bicycle, and by car. You learn each bridge by heart; how to get on it, how not to get on it, where it will take you, and the particular challenges of crossing it.
If you’re driving, the grids of the Hawthorne pull your car from side to side until you learn the trick of speeding up, rather than slowing down. The soaring upper deck of the Marquam, with its spectacular views of downtown, isn’t a place to sightsee, thanks to its hectic lane merges. The lower deck offers the most beautiful views of Waterfront Park in the city, especially during the Rose Festival. Whether or not you like to go to the Fun Center, you can’t help but be charmed by the lights of this huge carnival as you head west.
The Gothic splendor of the St. John’s Bridge, designed by famed engineer and polymath David B. Steinman, is the most majestic of Portland’s bridges. But the dramatic arches of the Fremont Bridge certainly give it a run, as far as dramatic beauty. At the other end of the Willamette River’s path through Portland, the Sellwood Bridge, rebuilt in 2016, was always Portland’s most controversial bridge. It was built in a hurry in 1925, and eventually deemed unsafe for bus and truck traffic. The new Sellwood bridge is broader, safer, and friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.
Fun fact: The twelve bridges that span the Willamette are all different types of bridge. You can read the full list–and learn about their construction–on Wikipedia: Portland Bridges
2021 is a perfect year to celebrate building bridges, isn’t it? Here is Pendleton’s beautiful new “Bridge City” blanket, available now at pendleton-usa.com.
A dozen bridges span the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Each bridge is a different type of bridge. The oldest, the Hawthorne Bridge, is the oldest vertical-lift bridge operating in the USA. The newest, Tilikum Crossing, is named for Native Americans who have always lived along the Willamette. In this breathtaking new blanket, a sunrise behind Mt. Hood lights the St. Johns Bridge (suspension), the Fremont Bridge (tied-arch), and the Steel Bridge (lift-span) as they work with nine others to join the Portland’s east and west sides.Above them rises Mt. Hood, a silent, sleeping volcano that keeps watch over “Bridge City.”
See more information: Bridge City
Read more about Tilikum Crossing: Portland’s Newest Bridge
It’s Earth Day, when we stop to honor the planet on which we all live. Hopefully we are looking for ways to honor Earth every day of the year. One of the ways we can do that is by making sustainable, renewable choices about what we buy.
The definition is simple; Natural fibers are produced by plants and animals without human intervention. Flax is a flowering plant that produces oil and also produces fibers that can be used for spinning and weaving linen. Cotton and hemp are two more natural plant fibers used in cloth production.
Sheep are thought to be the oldest living fiber-producing animals, but they are not alone. Goats (cashmere) and rabbits (angora) also naturally produce fibers used for spinning and weaving.
Wool is produced year- round and worldwide by an estimated one billion sheep. All over the planet, these sturdy animals grow their wool crop from a simple diet of water, grass, and sunshine. A sheep produces a new fleece each year. It is shorn, and returned to pasture. This makes wool a completely renewable natural fiber.
Grass, water and sunshine, of course! But technically, wool is made of keratin, a protein produced by the hair follicles of all mammals. According to Wikipedia, “[Keratin] is the key structural material making up scales, hair, nails, feathers, horns, claws, hooves, calluses, and the outer layer of skin among vertebrates.”
The finest micron width of merino wool fiber is made of the same material as a horse’s hoof. Yes, that’s remarkable.
Natural fibers are renewable; they grow and regrow on their own. Unlike synthetic fibers, which are usually made from petroleum, they renew themselves. As natural fibers, they also have life cycles, unlike synthetic materials. Wool’s lifecycle is a long one. Just ask the Pendleton customers who have inherited wool garments and blankets from their parents and grandparents.
When the end finally does arrive for a wool garment or blanket, there is still plenty of use to be had, because wool is the most reusable and recyclable fiber on Earth. It can be recycled or upcycled as textiles for clothing, or broken down into padding for upholstery and carpets. Recycled wool is also used to insulate for sound and natural fire resistance.
When the recycling stage of wool’s life is over, wool biodegrades fully. In fact, our Pendleton Eco-Wise wool is so manufactured with such care, it qualifies as a biological nutrient at the end of its life cycle. So when you’re thinking about what to wear, think about the impact your choice will have on the planet…not just on Earth Day, but every day.
All images via Pixabay.com
Our friends in Japan shared these beautiful photos from Hotel Unwind in Sapporo, Japan. Their rustic-luxe guest rooms feature Pendleton blankets. Travel is still a dream for many of us right now, but we thought our readers would enjoy dreaming about these gorgeous rooms.
Native Americans have practiced astronomy since ancient times to predict the arrival of the brightest stars. In Wyoming and Canada, mysterious medicine wheels have been found that track the rising of Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius. In the Central Plains, the Pawnee people honored the Pleiades Cluster and believed the Pole star was a protective chief who shone highest in the night sky. Their villages were planned with an eye toward astronomy, dedicating one corner of their village to the Evening Star.
First woven in the 1920s, this USA-made wool blanket has been one of our most popular designs ever since. Chief Joseph led the Nez Perce tribe native to northeastern Oregon in the late 1800s. Widely admired for protecting his people and speaking the truth, he is honored with this design, symbolizing bravery. Bold arrowheads represent the chief’s courage, strength and integrity.
Shifting dunes of shining white crystal rise from the Tularosa Basin at New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument. Erosion from the surrounding mountains constantly replenishes the world’s largest gypsum dunefield, encompassing 275 square miles. During the day, the dunes shine white against the blue sky. At sunset, the sands glow with vibrant hues of twilight, while desert flora—yucca, cholla, rice grass and more – reach toward the last rays of the setting sun.
Learn more about Hotel Unwind here: HOTEL UNWIND
Spring is…nearly here, and with it come two new traditional wool blankets from Pendleton. They are beauties!
Pilot Rock – In Oregon’s Western Cascades, Pilot Rock rises thousands of feet above the Rogue and Shasta Valleys. The area’s original Native American inhabitants, the Takelma, called it Tan-ts’at-seniphtha, or “Stone Standing Up.” The Takelma lived in the rock’s shadow as they fished, hunted and foraged along the Rogue River. In this pattern, arrows represent salmon swimming into nets, and large baskets overflow with abundant acorns and camas.
See it here: Pilot Rock
We are using this beautiful pattern for clothing, towels, and accessories!
Would you like to see it all? Click here: More Pilot Rock
Fossil Springs – A pattern inspired by the powerful waters of Fossil Springs in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest. Every minute, 20,000 gallons of calcium-laden water pour from the base of a 1,600-ft deep canyon, laying down deposits of travertine limestone and creating fossils that inspire the area’s name. In the center of this pattern, the springs surge to the surface, flowing out to fuel the wild waters of Fossil Creek.
See it here: Fossil Springs
With the changes, postponements, disappointments and losses we have all lived through in this year, it’s important to take a moment to share happiness. We hope you find joy in Brenna and Scott’s breathtaking elopement, coordinated and photographed by Alix Loosle this past fall.
Scott and I planned to have our wedding in St. Louis in August 2020, but had to reschedule and then postpone until May. When it looked like the world might not be back together again by 2021, we decided to secretly elope in Colorado where Scott’s brother could marry us. We immediately e-mailed Alix to see if she was available, and within a few days she helped us plan our entire wedding in Estes Park for just a few weeks later.
We loved that this wedding was going to be intimate, relaxed, and outside. A week before the wedding we got the news that Rocky Mountain National Park was affected by the wildfires, and we had to choose a new location. We landed on Blue Lakes in Breckenridge, and we found the perfect cabin nearby where we could spend the week.
On our journey to Colorado the night before what was supposed to be our wedding day, we were hit with a blizzard and spent the night sleeping in our truck waiting for the road to re-open. At this point all we could do was laugh and go with the flow! Alix and Scott’s brother and sister in law are some of the most gracious people we could have been surrounded by and were able to switch their travel plans so we could have the wedding the following day.
Our blizzard adventure turned out to be the biggest silver lining. October 27th was the most gorgeous day. Blue Lakes was covered in snow and seemed like a dream. We were able to spend the day of the wedding writing our vows, drinking chai bourbon lattes, making a cheese board, and hanging out with family.
Chris married us in the most personal and intimate ceremony, and his wife, Kelsey, read a beautiful reading and wrangled our puppy Lou.
We laughed and cried and took breaks during the ceremony to warm up and recover. We popped a bottle of champagne immediately after and watched the moon as it rose perfectly between the mountains.
It was the most amazing day of our lives and we are so happy to finally be Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell!
Our thanks to the bride, groom, and to photographer Alix Loosle for sharing her work. We are always so honored to be included in the amazing events of your lives. Thank you.
See more here: www.alixannlooslephotography.com
Wedding vendors on Instagram:
Feeling inspired for your own special occasions? See what’s beautiful from Pendleton here: Pendleton-usa.com
Look, we are the first to extol the virtues of BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) dining in these unusual times, when many of us find ourselves dining out in January while REALLY dining out–outside! And for that very purpose, we are huge fans of our Roll-Up blanket: nylon-backed Pendleton wool with sturdy built-in straps and carrying handle. (You can see it by clicking here: Roll-Up Blanket). But we also want you to consider a hardy wool sweater. It’s an actual garment, meaning you can move your arms easily, and stand up and sit down without a lot of rearrangement. You’ll also look amazing.
In lambswool, merino, Shetland and alpaca, our sweaters provide warmth in a distinctly Pendleton way. Patterns drawn from our blankets are translated into knits by isolating and enlarging key motifs, like the dramatic Rock Point medallion, or the familiar cross from the Harding pattern. Use of these patterns can be subtle, for borders or Fair Isle type designs, or big, bold, and beautiful. Varying weights, lengths, collars, sleeve styles—even the stitch patterns used—mean there’s a sweater for any kind of weather. When the days get shorter, the evening temperatures drop, especially when the skies are clear. A wool sweater chases away the chill.
We are going to claim it: the most famous sweater in pop culture is the Pendleton Westerley Cardigan. It was originally part of Pendleton’s western line, and gained an enduring fan base when worn by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”
But the Westerley is more than the Dude’s sweater. It’s durable and warm enough to be considered outerwear, and the pattern has staying power. In fact, it uses one of the oldest patterns there is: A meander or meandros, also called the “Greek fret” or “Greek key.” We change up the original colorway from year-to-year, just as we did from the beginning. Investigation of Pendleton line lists from the seventies reveal at lease eight different color combinations. See what’s going on with the Westerley here: The Original Westerley Cardigan
And for her? Of course, a woman can wear any Westerley she wants to (and so can a man). We have a Westerley that’s cut longer, with a top and bottom zip, that’s been a bestseller since its introduction. Here it is in one of those cool alternate colorways we’ve been talking about. It’s also available in the traditional tan and brown. See it here: Long Westerley
Sweaters are knitted in the traditional Aran style have had a resurgence, thanks to the sweater worn by Chris Evans in the movie “Knives Out.” Both the movie and the sweater were so popular that the Alamo Drafthouse movie theater started hosting “sweaters only” viewings of the “Knives Out” movie. Is this the next Westerley?
Aran stitches create the designs found in cabled Fisherman’s sweaters. Why would a fisherman wear a wool sweater? For a lot of reasons! Wool can absorb about 30% of its weight in water before feeling wet, making these sweaters ideal for fishermen. Aran stitches are said to have symbolic meanings:
Cables: Fishermen’s ropes
Blackberry: Nature, or the Holy Trinity
Moss: Abundance and growth
Honeycomb: Luck and a bountiful catch
Lattice or Basket: Another omen of a good catch
Ladder of Life, Tree of Life: Stages of life, or a pilgrimage
Plaited or braided: Interwoven strands of a long, shared life
Diamonds: The shape of a mesh fishing net, success and wealth.
The patterns varied from knitter to knitter, and the sweaters were so distinctive when bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach after an accident at sea, the sweaters helped families identify them. That’s ghoulish and interesting, and a testament to the Aran knitters. See the Pendleton versions here:
There are so many options. We’ve only scratched the surface of Pendleton’s sweater offerings. So head over to Pendleton-usa.com to see what we have for men and women, and what we have on sale right now! Because your friends are waiting for your company outside and under the stars, and a warm wool sweater is one way to join them…safely.
“Courage to Bloom,” the inaugural winner of the student competition for the American Indian College Fund blanket design.
Arrow shapes in this pattern symbolize finding a good path in life, acknowledging that every path holds pitfalls and dangers, as well as opportunity. To honor the loss of missing and murdered indigenous Native people, an hourglass shape at the base of the largest blossom symbolizes life’s spiritual journey through the most difficult circumstances.
Designer Deshawna Anderson (White Mountain Apache/Crow) is a College Fund scholar at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana, where she studies Business Administration. She is of the Butterfly Clan and a child of the Greasy Mouth.
As a visual learner, Deshawna became interested in art as a tool to educate the viewer on the perspective of its creator. She is influenced by Apache and Crow culture from the Crazy Mountains to Salt River Canyon. She also draws inspiration from historic and contemporary burden baskets, beadwork, quillwork, and attire.
This design, “Courage to Bloom,” was chosen from a field of 48 entries to the College Fund blanket design contest. There were many outstanding designs submitted, including paintings and beadwork. It was extremely difficult to choose just one design to translate to the loom. The breadth of talent we saw makes us anticipate what our College Fund scholars will create in the future.
“Courage to Bloom” at our website: Courage to Bloom
Learn more about The American Indian College Fund here: The College Fund
Learn more about earlier College Fund blankets here: College Fund Blankets by Pendleton
Photos of Ms. Anderson by Justin Stewart
Please enjoy a guest post from our friend, Greg Hatten, of wooden boat and river running repute, who took our new Bridger Stripe Blanket for a spin in the area where his namesake traveled so many years ago.
During the era of exploration of the American west in the mid 1800’s, Jim Bridger was known as an expert trapper, hunter, and marksman among his fellow mountain men. Among the the Flathead and Crow tribes, he was known at the “Blanket Chief” after a beautiful multicolored blanket he wore around his shoulders on special occasions. Within the military, Bridger was known as an outstanding scout, translator, negotiator, and map maker. Jim Bridger had an enormous impact on the western migration of the United States
Jim Bridger was also called “Old Gabe.” He has always been one of my favorite personalities in the long list of colorful characters that explored the mountains, rivers and plains of Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho. He left a mark on the west by mapping trails, guiding wagon trains, and building a trading post that would expand into a fort. He was respected by allies and enemies for his unmatched skills as an outdoorsman and his ability to stay calm under fire.
On my recent trip to Oregon, I began from Kansas City, where Jim Bridger is buried near his former farm in Westport. Traveling west on Interstate 80 (which is “roughly” the route of Lewis and Clark and the old Oregon Trail), I stopped by Fort Bridger in Wyoming and took my Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket along for the adventure.
The rustic fort that bears his name is a nearly exact replica of the original – complete with trading post that was first built in 1842. For several years it was the center of the universe in the western territory as the host of annual trade Rendezvous, a vital resupply stop for the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, figured prominently in the Utah War of 1857 and was a Pony Express relay station in 1860.
The Fall colors in Wyoming wrapped around the fort and were a perfect match for the colorful stripes on the Bridger Blanket. I paired the blanket with some historic artifacts and imagined the bustle of the fort as the emigrants on the trail resupplied and double checked their maps before heading off for the last legs of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails.
A tribute and lasting legacy of that westward migration are the ruts by iron wagon-wheels, and from intentional cutting by emigrants in an attempt to ease the grade from the lower level of the North Platte River.
The Bridger Stripe Blanket was a perfect compliment to my simple style of camping in canvas and wool on Rogue Wild and Scenic River. Sometimes I used a canvas fly because of the heavy dew but mostly it was open air sleeping under the stars beside the river… and the view was outstanding.
Thank you, Greg! It’s always a pleasure to see our products out in the wild. Enjoy a few more shots below. It wouldn’t be a Greg Hatten post without seeing our blanket in the prow of his beautiful wooden boat. And look carefully at the photo below the river shot. Can you imagine camping there? We can!
The Bridger Stripe blanket has the same soft hand and all-wool construction of a Pendleton park blanket, with a distinctly different stripe on each side for two looks in one versatile blanket. The pattern is named for a famed explorer, trapper and scout in the 1800s. Jim Bridger was part of the second generation of mountain men who followed Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery journey in 1804. His Rocky Mountains expeditions took him from southern Colorado to the Canadian border.
See it here: Bridger Stripe Blanket