Pendleton Sweaters–an alternative to the blanket for outdoor dining

Dining Out Warmly

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.

Pendleton Sweaters

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.

Dude, may we suggest?

Pendleton Westerley Cardigan

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

A model sits on a barstool, wearing a Long Westerley Cardigan by Pendleton

Fisherman’s Sweaters

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?

A wool fisherman's sweater with a cabled stitch design by Pendleton.

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:

Fisherman’s Sweater, pullover Fisherman’s Sweater, Cardigan

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.

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