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Posts from the ‘Made in the USA’ Category

Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10park Explorer: Yosemite National Park

Taylor_IMG_9272_BYosemite Valley, carved by glaciers and the Merced River, came to public attention in the 1860s, through the journalistic efforts of a Scottish immigrant named John Muir. He wrote countless articles describing the wonders of Yosemite, raising awareness that helped contribute to the eventual preservation of the area for generations to come.

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Yosemite is not America’s first National Park. The Yosemite wilderness and Mariposa redwood grove were designated as protected wilderness areas in 1864, with legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Yellowstone National Park was created a full eighteen years before Yosemite.

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The original wilderness did not include Yosemite Valley and its world-famous landmarks—El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. The park as we know it was expanded after Teddy Roosevelt asked John Muir to guide him on a camping expedition to Yosemite in 1903.

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Their night in the Mariposa Grove inspired one of Teddy’s most memorable quotes, in which he compared his night in the grove to “lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hands of man.” Muir lobbied the president to expand the park to include lands already in California’s possession, and in 1906, President Roosevelt signed a law that brought the Yosemite Valley under federal jurisdiction.

Here at Pendleton, we’re dismayed to write this, but domesticated sheep were once the primary threat to Yosemite. One threat? Shepherds who set meadow-fires to promote the growth of more edible grasses for their far-ranging flocks. The sheep caused trouble, too, destroying sub-alpine meadows and passing diseases to the native bighorn sheep. This prompted naturalist John Muir to call them “hoofed locusts.”

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The original Yosemite Park Rangers were Buffalo Soldiers. According to the Yosemite National park website:

Buffalo Soldiers, like their white counterparts in U.S. Army regiments, were among the first park rangers, in general, and backcountry rangers, in particular, patrolling parts of the West…Approximately 500 Buffalo Soldiers served in Yosemite National Park and nearby Sequoia National Park with duties from evicting poachers and timber thieves to extinguishing forest fires. Their noteworthy accomplishments were made despite the added burden of racism.

You can read the entire (fascinating) history, listen to a podcast and watch a video of a modern-day re-enactor who works in Yosemite here: Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers .

Another item of interest? The Buffalo Soldiers inspired the traditional Park Ranger hat. Many were Spanish-American War veterans who had shielded themselves from tropical rains of Cuba and the Philippines by pinching their high-crowned, broad-brimmed hats into symmetrical quadrants. This distinctive peak was known as the “Montana Peak” on the home front, and eventually became part of the National Park Service ranger uniform.

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Some Yosemite numbers:

Over 4 million visitors arrive each year to experience the 747,956 acres of wilderness, on 840 miles of hiking trails.

The mountains at Yosemite national park are still growing at a rate of 1 foot per thousand years.

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest falls in the world, 2425 feet in height. That means in 1000 years, it will be 2426 feet tall, but of course we won’t be around to see that.

There are three Sequoia groves in Yosemite. Sequoias are the largest living things on the planet, with some reaching 300 feet in height, living for 3,000 years.

At 4000 feet high, El Capitan is the largest block of granite in the known world.

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Are you ready for your own adventures? We’d love to come along. And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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Yosemite Blanket photos: Allie Taylor @alliemtaylor

Historic Cameron Trading Post Wedding

July is Wedding Month for us here at Pendleton. We are starting out with a post from APracticalWedding.com, reprinted with permission. This beautiful wedding between Brenda and Donovan incorporates Navajo traditions, including Pendleton blankets. Enjoy!

We Made Our $10K, 120 Guest Modern Navajo Wedding Our Own

These moccasins were made for walking (down the aisle)

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

BRENDA, PE TEACHER AND GRAD STUDENT & DONOVAN, NETWORK SPECIALIST

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Respectful and happy mix of traditional and modern cultures.

PLANNED BUDGET: $7,000

ACTUAL BUDGET: $9,800

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 120

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE MOST FUNDS:

We spent most of our funds at the venue—buying hotel rooms for the wedding party, the officiant, photographer, and ourselves. We also spent a good chunk of change on the catering and cake. We wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable and provided for.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE LEAST FUNDS:

Decorating. The most expensive decoration we had to purchase was the garlands, roughly $125 a piece. The rose petals were bought at the grocery stores for $12.99 and spread all around. Otherwise, the Pendleton blankets and chairs were items we already had. The rest, like the tulle and the long pieces of fabric, came from Goodwill at the price of $10 total. The ceremonial items for the altar were also items we already owned. Mother Nature took care of the rest!

My dress was incredibly inexpensive as I spent less than $200 to buy and make alterations. My moccasins were a gift and the jewelry were family heirlooms that I wore in honor of my grandmother.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHAT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT:

The makeup artist! I could not believe the amazing job he did with everyone! We do not wear makeup on a regular basis so it was a relief to see that he knew how to make us look great for such an amazing day.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

A FEW THINGS THAT HELPED US ALONG THE WAY:

A wedding coordinator was definitely needed as my family had never gone through a wedding of this fashion before. We were mixing traditional Navajo elements with a contemporary wedding, and we needed someone to guide us through the logistics of how it should look. She took care of things like helping us choose a cake, a makeup artist, and a florist and negotiating with the venue to ensure our needs were met. In a traditional Navajo wedding, there is no talk of any of that, as most weddings are performed at the homestead with everyone pitching in. In this case, we needed guidance, and she did a great job!

Our hardworking and caring family was instrumental in getting our wedding set up. The venue would only make sure it was clean and free of weeds. The rest was up to us. My family then took it upon themselves the day before the wedding to show up and set up late into the night to make sure we didn’t worry about it on the wedding day itself. They also provided the appetizers during our social hour and picked up our wedding cake in Flagstaff, Arizona, which was fifty minutes south of Cameron. We also had a trusted family member with lots of knowledge of Navajo tradition officiate the wedding. Then there were all the little details like the game we played, and someone to coordinate the packing and unpacking of everything we brought to the venue—chairs, decorations, tables, etc. The wedding would not have gone as smoothly without their help. Anything is possible with family!

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

MY BEST PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR MY PLANNING SELF:

Invite more people than what you have planned for. I wish I had sent out more invitations than I originally did. I invited exactly sixty people in my circle of family and friends and thought they would all come, and they didn’t, which meant there were some empty seats I could have filled with others. Lesson learned: invite more people than you planned for; it’ll work out in the end. Also, ENJOY IT! I was so consumed with making sure others were having a good time that I forgot that I was supposed to have a good time too. In hindsight, the wedding was beautiful, but I didn’t realize it till the end.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING:

The wedding vows. We wrote our own and I felt that meant more to me than anything. We looked each other in the eyes and nothing mattered. To hear my husband tell me how he felt was an incredible feeling! Also, right before we cut our wedding cake my nephew-in-law and my son sang a traditional Navajo blessingway song. As the song progressed, my family and friends joined in and it was soon a chorus of young and old singing to bless our marriage in a good way. I was overwhelmed with love and happiness that I started to cry. It was then I felt so proud to have the culture that I do and to share it with my husband from that day forth.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

OTHER NOTES:

Some people asked us why we didn’t have a true Navajo wedding, and the truth was I had already been married in that way. In Navajo tradition, you cannot marry twice out of the Navajo wedding basket so we had to get creative. I love my heritage but also respect the laws of it, and I wanted to marry in a way that was respectful but also reflected both our faith and culture. The wedding could be described as a mix of both Navajo tradition and Native American Church (NAC) practices in a contemporary format. With permission from my mother and aunts, we took what we could from our culture such as the washing of the hands and the exchanging of the dowry and incorporated prayer and blessings done with NAC paraphernalia (hawk feathers and burning of cedar) and then added the contemporary elements like my dad walking me down the aisle and the exchanging of the rings. The result was a wedding that had such deep meaning for both of us.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

This post includes one or more of our sponsors, who are a key part of supporting APW. Check out theDirectory page for Leah and Mark Photography.

THE INFO:

Photography: Leah and Mark | Location: Cameron, AZ on the Navajo Nation | Venue: Historic Cameron Trading Post | Brenda’s Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses: Camille Lavie | Moccasins: City Electric | Ties, Flower Baskets, and Ring Pillow: Touch of Tradition | Wedding Coordination: Yvonne Chavez | Makeup: Shonie Secody | Hair: Northern Arizona Glam Squad

 

“The Spirit of America”: A New Blanket for Yellowstone Park

It is one of the most popular parks in America, and one of the very first of our national Treasures. And it is celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service with a new blanket, “The Spirit of America.” Welcome to Yellowstone!

We enlisted the help of three Pendleton brand ambassadors for the unveiling of the new Yellowstone National Park blanket, made by Pendleton and exclusively for sale through Yellowstone General Stores. The blanket features Yellowstone’s icons: Old Faithful and grazing bison.

Brandon Burk:

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Cassy Berry:

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Grace Adams:

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We were blown away by the unique way each photographer showcased the color, pattern, borders, details and reverse of this outstanding blanket.

If your park plans don’t include Yellowstone this year, don’t worry; you can order the blanket online here: Yellowstone General Stores.

Delaware North hosted a fantastic event for the Yellowstone Park Foundation to unveil the new custom Pendleton blanket. The highlight of the evening was a generous donation Delaware North presented to the NPS—$20,000 to support the “Expedition Yellowstone” youth scholarship program. We share the following photos with their permission.

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Also on hand was the Pendleton Airstream. Hundreds of people toured this deluxe custom collaboration, and the verdict was unanimous: “I want one!” Only 100 of these beauties were produced and they are going fast, so please contact your Airstream dealer for details.

This is the year to celebrate the centennial of our National Park Service through travel and exploration. Pendleton is honored to be part of the celebration. Your purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection helps support the good work of the National Park Foundation, an organization that manages, protects and preserves America’s National Treasures for future generations.

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Happy 4th of July!

To all of  you from all of us here at Pendleton Woolen Mills. Have the best Independence Day ever!

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Brandon Burk Photography

Backpack by Hold Fast Gear

Taking a Blanket Home: Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the #pendle10park explorers

 

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Welcome to the most visited national park in the United States, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These misty mountains welcome nine to ten million visitors per year. The park covers more than 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina, making it the largest national park east of the Rockies.

We sent our blanket home to the Great Smokys with one of our #pendle10park explorers. True to their name, the mountains were cloaked with heavy mist, caused by high elevation, 80 inches of rainfall per year, and a multitude of flora; 130 species of trees, over 100 native shrub species, and some 1,600 species of flowering plants.

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The Cherokee called the region Shaconage, which translates to “mountains of the blue smoke.”

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The park is home to many beautiful waterfalls that also play a part in creating that wonderful haze.

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As an International Biosphere Reserve, the Park’s biological diversity is preserved and studied. A staggering 10,00 different species of plants and animals are recorded here, but there may be as many as 9o,000 more species of plant an animal life still to be identified.

With the help of a distance lens, our explorer encountered some of this wildlife, including one of the park’s 1500 black bears.

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Elk, which were re-introduced to the park in 2001, are becoming more common. A herd of around 140 ranges on the North Carolina side of the park. Again, we promise that these beautiful shots were taken at a distance.

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Incredible shots.

Great Smoky National Park is open 365 days a year, and park entry is free. Free! Yes, that means you have access to 850 miles of hiking (there is a fee for overnight camping. But it’s worth it to wake up and smell the coffee in a paradise like this.

 

 

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Many thanks to our #pendle10park explorer, Ben Matthews.

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See more of Ben’s work here:

Ben Matthews on Instagram 

Ben Matthews

Shop Pendleton’s National Park collection here: Great Smoky

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Mill Tribute Blankets by Pendleton: Racine Woolen Mills of Racine, Wisconsin

In 2010, Pendleton Woolen Mills introduced our Tribute Series, paying homage to four of the American Mills that thrived during the Golden Age of Native American Trade blankets. Today, we will talk about Racine Woolen Mills, known for their intricate patterns. 

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In 1865, a Racine company began producing textiles under the name Blake & Company under the leadership of Lucien Blake and John Hart. In 1877, the company incorporated under the name of “Racine Woolen Mills—Blake & Company.” Racine Woolen Mills went on to become the premier producer and marketer of Native American Trade blankets.

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Racine was well-established by 1893. Records show employees of 150 skilled weavers and gross sales of $300K, which was an robust amount for the day. Racine’s fringed shawls were produced under the “Badger State” label. These earliest shawls are relatively subdued by today’s standards, mostly plain with an in intricately designed border. Photos of these vintage shawls show the superior drape of the fabric. They were extremely popular with Native American women.

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Native American women in Racine’s Ribbon-pattern shawls

Each of the companies in our tribute series has its own trademark specialty. Buell is known for faithful reproduction of Native American weaving patterns. Oregon City is famed for fanciful figural patterns and unexpected, riotous color. Racine Woolen Mills blankets are valued for unexpected, intense colors and intricate patterns. Diamonds, crescent moons, five-pointed stars, ribbon bows, compass roses, combs, waterbugs, pipes and feathers are woven with definition and clarity. The sheared finish of a vintage Racine blanket keeps the designs crisp and the hand smooth.

The famed Racine quality was maintained after production was taken over by another fine weaving mill, Shuler & Benninghofen, a mill that produced blankets for Racine until (approximately) 1915. Racine continued to merchandise and market trade blankets procured from different manufacturers until 1940 or so. They seem to have stopped offering wool trade blankets after that, though they kept on as a wholesaler of other styles of woolen blankets and goods until 1951, when Racine Woolen Mills closed doors for good.

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Hidatsa Man by Edward Curtis

According to our friend Barry Friedman in his book Chasing Rainbows, “The last ‘genuine’ Racine blankets were made in the 1930s, when John Hart asked Paul Benninghofen to make one of the old patterns. It was a special favor, because by then Shuler & Benninghofen no longer produced trade blankets and Racine hadn’t contracted to have them made there or anywhere else in years.” The Racine blankets beloved by collectors come from the golden years of 1893-1912, and the Pendleton Mill Tribute blankets are re-creations of blankets from that period.

Racine #7 (available here): Muted colors were rare for Racine. The original blanket was woven for Racine Woolen Mills by Shuler & Benninghofen.

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Racine #6 (available here): Tomahawks, Bows and Arrows

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Racine #5 (retired): Banded Diamonds

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Racine #4 (retired): A dizzying array of color, sawteeth and stars

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Racine#3 (retired, with a limited number available here): Crescent Moon and Shining Star

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Racine #2 (retired): Pipe and Feather – the other elements are two Navajo weaving combs, and an arrow under the pipe

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Racine #1 (retired): Class Y in the Racine catalog, “Yuma” in the Shuler & Benninghofen catalog

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Racine Woolen Mills has an interesting intersection with Pendleton’s history. In 1905, Racine Woolen Mills was furiously negotiating to buy a struggling mill in Pendleton, Oregon, with plans to increase trade blanket production by 300 percent. Those negotiations proved fruitless, and the Pendleton mill went silent in 1908. In 1909, Fanny Kay Bishop organized her three sons to take it over and transform it into the company we know today.

If Racine Woolen Mills had purchased the mill, who knows what the Pendleton story would have been?

 

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The Wild Splendor of Oregon’s Crater Lake

On a clear day, the waters of Crater Lake are a shade of blue seen nowhere else. The depth of the lake, the purity of the water and the clean Oregon skies are the source of this unearthly hue. You really have to see it to believe it.

Crater Lake sits almost two thousand feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the United States. As the National Park Service says, “Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.” (source)

Crater Lake, Oregon

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Of all the beautiful Oregon locations seen in the movie “Wild,” it is Cheryl Strayed’s slow saunter across the backdrop of Crater Lake that elicits the strongest audience response.

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It’s really that blue-and that’s the blue we chose for our Crater Lake National Park Series blanket.

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Crater Lake formed in the collapsed caldera of Mount Mazama, an ancient volcano. It is not fed by any streams or tributaries. The 4.6 trillion gallons of water contained in the lake accumulated through 7,000 years of precipitation, and some sub-surface seepage. This accounts for the water’s unbelievable purity.

The lake contains two islands. Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone formed by continued eruptions after the collapse of Mount Mazama. Its picturesque name comes from an earlier time in Crater Lake’s history, when the lake was named the “Witches Cauldron.” That name didn’t stay, but Wizard Island’s name did remain. Crater Lake’s other island, Phantom Ship, is a rock formation that looks exactly like a pirate ship sailing on the lake’s surface if you tilt your head and squint a little, and believe.

You don’t have to hike to enjoy this park’s best view. It’s possible to drive right to the Crater Lake lodge and visit a patio that stretches across the back of the lodge. There you can sit in one of the rocking chairs, order a huckleberry martini and toast the best view in Oregon. And if you’re ready for outdoor action, Crater Lake offers hikes, bike rides around the rim, hikes and boat tours that include a stop on Wizard Island. If you do travel by boat, keep your eye out for “The Old Man of the Lake,” a hemlock stump that has been bobbing around the lake for over a century.

The Klamath and Modoc tribes consider Crater Lake a sacred site, and have myths about its creation. Because of the scientific accuracy of the Klamath myths, it’s believed that tribal members witnessed the creation of the lake and fashioned their sacred stories accordingly. You can read more here: Sacred legends of the Klamath   and here: Science and Myth, the creation of Crater Lake.

It was a cloudy day when Kyle Houck, our #pendle10park explorer, took the Crater Lake blanket home for a visit. As you can see from Kyle’s shots, the park is still beautiful.

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#pendle10parks photos by: @KYLEHOUCK

Find out more about our Crater Lake blanket here: Crater Lake

Share a Crater Lake/Rogue River adventure with Greg Hatten: WoodenBoat Adventures

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Happy Earth Day from Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool®

EcoBeautyThere are many, many products out there claiming to be green. From the sheep to the shelf, Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® passes strict standards of sustainability and stewardship, verified and certified. This means that if you were to take a Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® blanket and bury it, it would leave the earth better, not worse, for the addition. That’s a nice way to explain it, but we make blankets for you to use, not to bury. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® products are designed to be delightful to touch, easy to care for and beautifully colored. And they are woven in the USA of 100% virgin wool.

Let’s start with our newest throws for 2016. The Wool Herringbone throw is a classic herringbone weave that has enough pattern and texture to be interesting, but works well with any of our solids, stripes or plaids.

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Also, we have bed blankets in the beautiful ombre plaids you think of when you think of Pendleton.

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Be sure to check out the classic plaids, stripes and checks, too. These new block plaids coordinate with the stripes, and they are just begging to be thrown over the arm of your sofa.

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The block plaid throws coordinate back to our one-color Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool® bed blankets. Here are some of our solids and heathers.

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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 colors will remain true forever. Go warm with with traditional plaids, rustic with stripes and heathers, or keep it contemporary with checks. We have you and your bed totally covered.

Blake Lively agrees!

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So give us a  visit  and see all our colorful ways to be green.

Home on the Range: Pendleton Buffalo Blankets

American_bison_k5680-1The American Buffalo, or American Plains Bison, is a majestic symbol of the American West. Its story is rife with controversy and tragedy, and its resurgence stands as an important step towards a new beginning.  You can read some of that history here: Buffalo History. You can read about the recovery efforts here: Buffalo recovery

This month, a group of 89 genetically pure buffalo calves will return to the Blackfeet of Montana tribe. These calves are descendants of a small group of buffalo that were husbanded in the Canadian wilderness preserves.

According to Smithsonian.com:

Back in 1872, Chris Peterson of Hungry Horse News reported that a Salish and Kootenai Warrior named Running Coyote was having trouble with his tribe. As an apology, he and several friends rounded up buffalo calves on Blackfeet land and brought them over the Continental Divide to the Salish and Kootenai as a gift. The apology didn’t really work out, and ranchers Charles Allard and Michel Pablo took charge of the bison herd, eventually growing it to 300 animals over the next 25 years.

Near the turn of the century, disputes over grazing rights meant the herd had to be sold. Teddy Roosevelt reportedly wanted the animals, but Congress wouldn’t release the funds. So Pablo sold the buffalo to the Canadian government, which shipped the animals to Elk Island National Park, outside Edmonton, Alberta, where the herd has stayed for over 100 years.

To celebrate the return of these animals to the US, we want to share a look at our Pendleton buffalo blankets. The names link to pendleton-usa.com, where you can find out more information on each of these beautiful blankets.

Big Medicine

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The rare white bison occurs only once in every 10 million births. In 1933, a white buffalo was born in the wild on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation and was called “Big Medicine” to reflect his sacred power. Many Native American tribes consider the return of the White Buffalo the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy and the beginning of a new era for the peoples and Mother Earth. Tradition spoke of the coming of a herd of pure White Buffalo. The seven bison on this blanket represent the seven directions: North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within. Together they symbolize wholeness for mankind and the earth. Prayer pipes signify mankind’s communication with the Creator. In the center of the blanket, within the circle of life, are four hands representing the diverse peoples of the world and a new beginning. Shades of brown and green reflect the natural beauty of Mother Earth.

We have been asked over the years if this blanket contains real white buffalo hair. There was a VERY limited edition of this blanket woven with the hair of a rare white buffalo (and those will have a special patch to identify them) produced in 2010. Sales of the blanket helped benefit a nonprofit that, among other endeavors, funded the buffalo sanctuary where a rare white buffalo lived. You can read about that here: White Buffalo Blanket

Buffalo Roam

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The buffalo was revered by many Native American tribes. The meat gave them food. The hides provided robes for warmth, tepee covers for shelter and shields for protection. Horns were crafted into bowls and arrowheads, and fat was rendered for candles and soap. The Buffalo Roam blanket captures the power of that mighty beast of the plains. The design by Native American watercolor artist Joe Toledo puts the sacred buffalo in perspective. Looming large in close-up and appearing smaller in the distance, it was ever present in the lives of the Plains Indians. Mr. Toledo mixes soft rainwater with his colors to reflect images from his Jemez Pueblo culture. His works are exhibited in collections in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Buffalo Wilderness

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The Buffalo Wilderness design recalls a peaceful time long, long ago. It was the time when millions of buffalo roamed grassy plains from Oregon to the Great Lakes, from Canada to Mexico. Today our National Parks protect the wilderness, and the remaining buffalo there roam free. One of the largest herds (more than 4,000) of free-ranging wild buffalo lives in and around Yellowstone National Park. It is thought to be the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. You can also see herds in Badlands, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt and Wind Cave National Parks.  A portion of the sales of this blanket are donated to the National Park Foundation to support projects in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks (details at the link at bottom of page). 

Prairie Rush Hour

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The bison, often referred to as the buffalo, is the largest land mammal in North America. A big buffalo can weigh a ton (2,000 pounds!) and stand six feet tall. And they can run as fast as 35 miles an hour. Long ago millions of these mighty buffalo roamed the plains, prairies and river valleys. It was a time when there were no houses on the hills. When countless forests were green and the trees grew tall. When deer grazed by mighty rivers. Today you can see wild buffalo only in our National Parks, where they are protected. You can see one of the largest herds of wild buffalo in the United States in Yellowstone National Park. A portion of the sales of this blanket are donated to the National Park Foundation to support projects in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks. The Prairie Rush Hour is a jacquard throw that measures 64″ x 64″.  This blanket is also available in crib-size.

Buffalo Creation Story

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Buffalo are not typically associated with Navajo culture. So when contemporary Navajo artist Andrew Hobson discovered a story of how the buffalo evolved in Navajo creation stories, he was fascinated. Hobson’s original painting of the Buffalo-Who-Never-Dies of the White Buffalo Tribe inspired this Pendleton blanket. In the tale, Buffalo became angry with Holy Man for having two buffalo women as his wives. Holy Man killed the angry buffalo with magic arrows and wands. But to his dismay, all the buffalos began to die. Then sad, Holy Man brought the buffalo back to life and showed him how to revive all the other buffalo. The central figure shows the angry buffalo fractured in pieces to symbolize his death and journey back to life. Four buffalo tribes are shown inside protective medicine hoops, and the four sacred mountain ranges of the Navajo surround the central buffalo. The artist frames the work in the abstract rainbow symbolizing his personal Yeii, or protective deity. This blanket is part of the Pendleton Legendary Series.

 

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New Blankets for 2016

The new blanket introductions are always a a highlight here at Pendleton. We work on these designs for a full year before we ever see a sample roll off the loom. Something magical happens when flat, fine-edged designs are woven in wool. The patterns we thought we knew are that much more breathtaking when translated into textile form. It is always exciting and a little mysterious.

If you’ve pored over out website or catalog, then come into a store to see a blanket in person, you know exactly what we’re talking about. There is a depth and beauty to a blanket that’s truly breathtaking. Well, wait no more! The new blankets are up at pendleton-usa.com. We have some beautiful new room settings to inspire you. The blanket names are linked, you can click for more information at our website.

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Do you like warm colors and sinuous lines? Topeka Plains might be your pattern.

Topeka Plains

The Great Plains cover over 500,000 square miles of North America. Long ago, this vast expanse of steppe and grassland was covered by tall grasses that supported the Plains Bison. The Bison in turn supported the way of life of nomadic tribes that hunted and farmed the prairies, including Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Pawnee, Crow, Comanche, Arapaho and many more. Topeka Plains pays tribute to the waving grasslands of the Great Plains with a harmonious pattern of sinuous lines. The balance of this banded design reflects the balance of life among the Nations of the Great Plains.

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Cactus Trail is another colorful pattern, with primaries set off by a background of Oxford grey. It’s a tribute to the Cactus to Clouds Trail in California.

Cactus Trail

Jagged white peaks rise beside rows of Saltillo diamonds representing desert flora–Cholla and Barrel cactus, Banana Leaf yucca, Ribbonwood trees, Pinyon pines, Manzanita and scrub oak. Steps and hooks symbolize a path travelled partly in darkness.  This is the Cactus to Clouds Trail, an 18-mile hike rising 10,300 feet from Palm Springs, California, to San Jacinto Peak. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, it is privately maintained by local hikers who install markers and maintain water caches along a challenging trail with the greatest elevation increase in the United States.

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Infinite Steps (on the wall) is part of our new contemporary collection.

Infinite Steps

Through careful arrangement of color and shape, Infinite Steps creates a three-dimensional staircase on a two-dimensional plane.  This is an optical illusion–an illustration that tricks the brain into seeing what is not actually there. The traditional craft of quilting uses many optical illusions in its patterns, such as Carpenter’s Color Wheel, Tumbling Blocks, Pinwheels and variations of the Log Cabin pattern. Infinite Steps pays tribute to the precision and planning quilters use when creating these dazzling effects.

 

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Boro Patchwork is also part of the contemporary collection.

Boro Patchwork

Boro patchwork reflects the value of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste.’ The word Boro, meaning ‘rags,’ describes items of clothing and bedding that have been patched and repaired many times. Boro clothing was worn by peasants, merchants and artisans in Japan from the Edo period through the early Showa period. Patches are often worked in hishizashi, personal stitching patterns developed by menders. Some Boro items are sewn through generations. The beautiful indigo shades of repaired cotton and rough-spun hemp work together in a subtle patchwork that reflects a culture’s devotion to preservation.

That is just a taste of what you will be seeing at pendleton-usa.com . Visit us often to see what’s rolling off the loom at our USA mills!

New blankets

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