We are so proud of our Ducks. It’s been a fantastic season. And if you are wondering, yes, we had the blanket designed and the loom threaded in yellow and green. It would have been a wonderful moment to hit that switch and run those blankets, but there’s always next season.
As you know, we are a family owned and operated concern, with that family being the Bishops. The Bishop family goes way back with University of Oregon football. In 1894, the University of Oregon’s first football team took the field. They were known as the Webfoots back then, after a group of Massachusetts fishermen who played heroic roles in the American Revolutionary War. The U of O Webfoots didn’t score a touchdown that first season, but Oregonians are tough. They came back ready to play in 1895.
Below is a team photo of the 1895 team (the ball is proudly emblazoned with that player’s upcoming year of graduation). In both photos, he is second from the right in the lower row, wearing a turtleneck and one of the less outrageous haircuts sported by the players, is young Clarence Morton Bishop. And wouldn’t you know it, he is credited with making the first touchdown in the school’s collegiate football games in 1895.
Below is another archival item on the football career of “the first Mort” as he is referred to around here. Click for a larger view.
And hey. GO DUCKS!
“Wild” is not just the number one movie right now, it’s the number one bestselling book on Amazon–years after its release!
The movie was filmed on location, so Oregon’s part of the Pacific Crest Trail is one of the stars, right up there with Ms. Witherspoon. There are some amazing shots near Crater Lake, all the more amazing because Crater Lake national park is only open a short time each year.
We are excited!
The Raven blanket is a fine example of Coast Indian artistic style. Here’s the legend behind the pattern:
North American Indian folklore reflects the many stories surrounding animal spirits. Every animal has a reason for existence and a legend of how and why they are on Mother Earth. Raven is the counterpart of Coyote. Even though Raven can be an expert trickster, often fooling other animals out of food or shelter, Raven can also be a friend when other animals need help. With sharp eyes, he has a keen skill of knowing when danger lurks. Raven identifies the danger and notifies all other animals in the desert or forest to be cautious or to hide. Raven is a solid reminder and teacher of the good versus evil and is always available if there is a decision to be made. The Blanket exemplifies the black colored feathers of Raven; the red color of potential danger that surrounds him. The blanket is bordered with the Sun, Moon and Stars that are celestial facets of Raven’s life.
Isn’t that amazing? Lindsey works with so many fabric artists to produce her line, and we are excited to be one of them. We hope you’re having a terrific December, and that you’re staying warm, wherever you are. Like Blake. Who is looking fabulous and staying warm in Pendleton wool.
These shots came to our attention a little after the fact.
We’ve known Neil Young loved our shirts for a long time. We are honored to be used in a set that transported Neil’s rustic California vibe to the stage of the Wang Theater in Boston.
The Westerley drew inspiration from beautiful Cowichan sweaters that are hand-knit by Pacific Northwest tribes. Our version was machine-knitted by Winona Knitting Mills of Minnesota, a two-facility company owned by the Woodworth family. Winona Mills was one of the very few USA knitting mills who offered a 2gg knit, a term meaning only two knit stitches per inch. A 2gg sweater is heavy enough to work as outerwear. As the long-time leader of our menswear division expressed it, “You could wear it in a monsoon, and you’d stay warm.”
The vintage Westerley was knit in 3gg, and it was almost as impressive as the 2gg for thickness and warmth. The Westerley was one cozy sweater. We offered it in the western, outdoor and casual lines for over ten years. Over its run of production, the zip front, ring zipper pull and shawl collar stayed the same, as did the Greek key-inspired pattern. Archival visits show that the Westerley’s color variations are surprisingly wide.
The sweater went out of production in the 1980s, but found the limelight in the early 2000s, thanks to an obscure movie that didn’t stay obscure.
The Big Lebowski
This Coen brothers film was released to low to middling success in 1998, but quietly grew into a cult favorite. No one can pinpoint the exact reason why. Was it Donny’s clueless questions? Walter’s chin-strap beard? The German nihilists? The dream sequence scored by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition?
Well, it was probably a grand confluence of all of these important factors, plus the masterful turn taken by Jeff Bridges as The Dude. He staggers in and out of trouble, wearing alternately sweats, shorts, pajama pants, a bathrobe, a purple t-shirt and a battered Westerley cardigan.
Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes for this role, and though there were two sweaters hand-knitted as back-ups, he preferred wearing his personal Pendleton Westerley.
“The Big Lebowski” continues to grow as a cultural phenomenon. It’s not a movie anymore, it’s a lifestyle. Its fans, the Achievers, have conventions and their own documentary. And as the movie’s audience has grown, so has the demand for a re-creation of The Dude’s sweater.
The First Revivals
Pendleton’s first run at reproducing the “Big Lebowski sweater” came in the Fall of 2011. The Dude Cardigan was not an exact replica. It had the weight and coloration of the original Westerley, with a slightly different knit pattern and a leather zipper pull. This homage sweater generated an enormous amount of publicity, especially because the sweater worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie was going to auction that same year. The provenance of the auction sweater came into question and it was withdrawn from auction. Pendleton’s version sold out almost immediately.
In Fall 2013, we brought back the sweater in the original 3gg knit under the Westerley name. We went to the archives, and settled on two versions: a cream with red and black pattern, and a desert brown version with navy and gold pattern.
We offered the Westerley in another archival coloration in charcoal and blue early in the fall of 2014. These were all great Westerleys. They were archivally accurate, beautifully made and selling well to fans of traditional menswear. We stand behind these Westerleys!
But this was not the sweater the Achievers wanted, and the Achievers would not be denied.
The Original Westerley
Well, it’s here. We have researched the archives and studied the movie to capture the coloration as best we can for our newest version, known as The Original Westerley.
This is 100% lambswool in 3gg knit, and it’s ready to take you through your next monsoon, or maybe to your next Lebowskifest. We’ve even restored the ring zipper pull, to which we’ve attached a small bowling pin keychain. We think it really pulls the sweater together.
Editor’s note: Today’s blog post is brought to you by guest blogger Mark Poltorak, who manages the Pendleton employee store. Enjoy it!
Everyone who works at Pendleton’s corporate office has smelled it; that delicious odor of deep-fried donut batter as we leave the building and walk toward Burnside.
A line of patient patrons congests the sidewalks for what seems like 24 hours a day. We see the iconic pink boxes all over town, in the airport and on TV.
Established in 2003, Voodoo Doughnuts has become an iconic, must-see/eat in the “Keep Portland Weird” tourist scene. Now, Voodoo has asked Pendleton to create a Voodoo Doughnut blanket that will keep you as warm as those fresh out-of-the-fryer sugary treats.
The blanket features a detailed display of Voodoo icons. In the center, emerging from the center of the blanket (and a doughnut, of course), we are greeted by none other than Baron Samedi. Baron Samedi waits at the crossroads between the worlds of the living and the deceased. He is armed with a shovel and eager to dig the graves and greet the souls of the newly departed. It is rumored that Baron Samedi can be brought to a swoon with treats (such as doughnuts!).
A comforting sight to balance the grim aura of Baron is the impressive spread of Voodoo’s bread and butter: the doughnuts! Fans of Voodoo will find all their bizarre but delicious favorites: the McMinnville Cream, Neapolitan, Diablos Rex, Sprinkle, Bacon Maple Bar, Portland Cream and Triple Chocolate.
Of course, the blanket wouldn’t be complete without a representation of the most iconic Voodoo doughnut of all! The Voodoo Doll doughnut is featured multiple times.
Long after Baron has claimed us all for his own keeping, this eerie blanket will keep you warm. Be on the lookout for one at the Voodoo Doughnut site. And remember, “The Magic is in the Hole.”
We’re fans of the stirring photography of the Thomas Kay line for men (from Pendleton Woolen Mills) in the Fall quarterly issue of Man of the World.
Yes, we know, it’s so artfully packed over there on the right side that you almost can’t see it, but we like the shot anyway. There’s nothing quite like camping with wool.
“The Big Sky State” captures Montana style with our Thomas Kay Oliver shirt in Macrae Ancient Dress Tartan.
A pickup truck, a good dog and a Pendleton wool shirt. What more could you ask for? Besides that awesome tractor. These are great Big Sky shots from a beautiful publication. Pick up your copy and marvel.
You can check out the rest of the Thomas Kay line here.
Curtis Kulig has left his signature mark all over the world. He’s achieved star status in the art scene, yet remains “SoHo’s most unexpected nice guy,” according to the New York Times. What else could you expect from a Midwesterner who has made his way in New York City based on one ubiquitous phrase:
We are pleased to offer Curtis Kulig’s collaborative blanket with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Kulig brings his two-word manifesto to life in black and cream. Titled ‘Hermann,’ the design takes its inspiration from famed psychologist Hermann Rorschach to offer what Kulig calls “a bit of Love therapy.”
The title is spot-on, as Kulig’s art relies on the response of the beholder. “love me” might be two simple words, but the response is always complicated. Is it a request, a demand, a plea? Is it made in the spirit of humility, desperation or celebration?
Said Kulig, “My dear friend Lindsey Thornburg asked me if I’d like to work with Pendleton and that’s what started the conversation. They are an amazing brand, truly American, and the craftsmanship that goes into every piece is incredible. I’m really honored to design a one of a kind blanket for them.”
The Curtis Kulig “Love Me” Hermann Blanket is produced in Pendleton’s original mill in Pendleton, Oregon. A patch and certificate authenticate the blanket as part of a very limited series. It’s tied with ribbon that bears Curtis Kulig’s signature mark:
This combines for a meaningful presentation, which is currently available at pendleton-usa.com.
Blake Lively, fashion icon, offered this cloak on her Preserve.us website, but it appears to be sold out. Check Lindsey’s website! And be sure to read about Lindsey Thornburg’s inspirations on our blog. Her beautiful cloaks are dramatic innovations on the tradition of blanket coats that stretches back to medieval times in Europe. And centuries ago in the Americas, Native weavers made outerwear of their blankets, and adapted the styles to manufactured Trade blankets when they were introduced in the late 1800s. We have to tell you this stuff because we’re Pendleton, and we go back a ways with blankets.
But enough history lessons. For now, just enjoy a few more pictures of a beautiful woman in a beautiful cloak.