Bridge City, a new blanket for 2021

Celebrating Portland

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

The Blanket

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.

Bridge City, a new blanket by Pendleton, shows bridges spanning the Willamette River

Bridge City

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

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Earth Day 2021

Five sheep stand on a cliff overlooking the sea.

Sustainable choices

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.

What makes a fiber “natural”?

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.

A mother sheep and lamb stand in the grass by a bay.

The case for wool

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.

What is wool made of?

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.

A sheep rests on a hillside.
Renewable Wool

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.

Recyclable Wool

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.

The very end

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.

Two sheep with curly horns stand on a rocky slope against a bright sky.

All images via Pixabay.com

Hotel Unwind Sapporo and Pendleton

Beautiful blankets, beautiful rooms

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.

Star Watchers

A  luxurious and rustic room at Hotel Unwind in Sapporo, Japan, featuring a Pendleton Star Watchers blanket.

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.

Chief Joseph

Another lodge-themed room at Hotel Unwind in Sapporo, Japan, featuring a Pendleton Chief Joseph blanket.
Another room at Hotel Unwind in Sapporo, Japan, featuring Pendleton Chief Joseph blankets and pillows.

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.

White Sands

A room at Hotel Unwind in Sapporo, Japan, featuring a White Sands Pendleton blankets and pillow shams.

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.

You’ll see more Pendleton products in the spa, and on the hotel staff.
At the Hotel Unwind spa, a row of beautiful Pendleton spa towels await pampered guests.
The Hotel Unwind staff in their custom Pendleton wool shirts.

Learn more about Hotel Unwind here: HOTEL UNWIND

New Blankets for Spring 2021

Pilot Rock

Spring is…nearly here, and with it come two new traditional wool blankets from Pendleton. They are beauties!

Pendleton Pilot Rock wool blanket

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!

A woman faces away from the camera, she is wearing a jacket in the Pilot Rock pattern

Would you like to see it all? Click here: More Pilot Rock

Fossil Springs

Pendleton's Fossil Springs blanket

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

A Wintry Elopement in Colorado

Editor’s note:

A man and woman hold a Pendleton blanket in the snow, while their officiant marries them.

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.

As Told by the Bride

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.

The groom waits with the officiant in the snowy mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado.

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.

The bride approaches in a white wedding dress on the white sow, holding beautiful flowers.

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.

The groom, officiant, and bride.

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.

Lou the Lab waits to see the wedding, wearing a Pendleton Pet dog cot.

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!

Congratulations!

the happy couple and Lou, after the ceremony.

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

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.

Courage to Bloom for The College Fund

We are proud to present…

Courage to Bloom blanket for the College Fund - front

“Courage to Bloom,” the inaugural winner of the student competition for the American Indian College Fund blanket design.

Courage to Bloom blanket for the College Fund - back

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.

The Designer behind the Design

Deshawna Anderson, photography by Justin Stewart
Photo by Justin Stewart

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.

Deshawna Anderson, photography by Justin Stewart
Photo by Justin Stewart

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.

The Future

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.

Learn More

“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

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Guest Post: Greg Hatten on a trip to Fort Bridger

Guest post ahead!

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.

Jim Bridger 1824 – 1871

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, Wikimedia Commons image

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.

A Trip Out West

Wooden sign for "Old Fort Bridger" Pioneer trading post

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.

Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket hanging on a wooden fence at Fort Bridger

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.

Pendleton Bridger Stripe blanket hanging on the axle of a pioneer wagon at Fort Bridger

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.

Blanket folded and displayed on a shelf inside one of the Fort's buildings

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 has a very different front and back.
We love this photo because it shows how different the front and back of this blanket.

The Blanket

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.

Riverbank campsite with a cot and the Bridger Stripe blanket.

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!

As always, we show our blanket in Greg's beautiful wooden boat, on a river.
Beautiful campsite on a rocky promontory
click on this to make it bigger–wouldn’t you love to camp here?
Bridger Stripe blanket - front
Bridger Stripe blanket - reverse

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

Made in USA label with eagle for Pendleton

Warriors Circle of Honor, by Harvey Pratt

Veterans’ Day 2020

For Veterans’ Day, we’d like to feature the Warriors Circle of Honor blanket, designed by artist Harvey Pratt.

The Warriors Circle of Honor blanket by Harvey Pratt.

The Artist & Memorial

Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho) is an Oklahoma artist who works in painting, sculpting, wood carving, bronze, and graphic design. He served with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam. He has worked in law enforcement for fifty years and is one of the foremost forensic artists in America. He currently serves as the chairperson of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and as a traditional Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief.

Mr. Pratt designed the National Native American Veterans Memorial, at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. This memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Veterans—past, current, and future. The memorial is a place of honor, recognition, reflection and healing for all Native veterans and their families.

For a deeper look at Mr. Pratt and his work on the memorial, please enjoy this film.

The Blanket

Pendleton is proud to present Mr. Pratt’s “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” blanket design, based on the memorial.

Warriors Circle of Honor blanket, front.

The Sacred Fire burns at the center of bands of color representing Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. A border of stars and stripes has openings to allow spirits to enter. Four hands wearing feathers of bravery and triumph mark the cardinal directions. Oval shapes echo the museum’s Grandfather Rocks.

Warriors Circle of Honor, reverse view.

More Information

For more information on Mr. Pratt’s work, please visit his website:  harveypratt.com.

To learn more about the blanket, visit our website: Warriors’ Circle of Honor

Pendleton label with bald eagle

Pendleton Moments for 2020

Together and Apart

It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it? We’ve practiced self-reliance like never before, while quarantining, working from home, expanding our hobbies and creative pursuits, and dreaming of better days to come.

Despite all this solitude, our bonds with family and friends have become more important than ever. We’ve formed tight pods, when we can. We’ve gotten creative with drive-past birthday parades, livestreamed weddings, and ZOOM happy hours. We’re spending time with our pets like never before. Our new four-legged home-office mates are being spoiled by all this human companionship.

Outdoor Adventures

We’re spending as much time as we can outdoors, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. We’re sharing picnics at parks and sitting at outside dining tables in all kinds of weather (hint: bring your Pendleton blanket). We’re taking distanced walks and hikes, sharing long conversations through our masks, and reaffirming our bonds.

Thank You

We want to thank you all for how you’re showing up, and how you’re staying in, how you’re taking care. And thanks to the brand ambassador photographers who share their beautiful Pendleton moments. We hope you enjoy their work in the clip above.

Take care, and thank you, from Pendleton.