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Posts from the ‘miscellaneous’ Category

Help support the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program


pwm_10_2016_-837_webThis authentic Navajo rug is being offered by Pendleton Woolen Mills in support of Utah’s Adopt-a-Native-Elder program. This outreach program helps Navajo elders, as they carry on the oldest cultural and spiritual traditions of the Dine People. Many elders are located in remote areas, living in hogans and raising sheep. The program provides food, clothing, fabrics, yarns and other needs. In return, the Elders share their expertise, especially in weaving.

For this project, Pendleton donated bales of dyed virgin wool, which ANE volunteers divided into bags and distributed after an Adopt-a-Native-Elder dinner. The Grandmothers were invited to choose their own wool, and were quite enthusiastic to be involved.


The weavers returned fifteen completed rugs for judging. From a host of beautiful entries, this rug was the winner.

It was woven by Gloria Hardy with assistance from her mother, Louise. It is spun and woven from 100% Pendleton wool. Mother Louise spun the wool, and daughter Gloria designed the pattern and did the weaving. The size is impressive (48″ x 46″), and it is a beautiful pattern.


See the rug here: Hand-woven Navajo Rug

The stripes in the pattern represent the calm and steady wind of the desert sky. The crosses represent the Prayer of the Four Directions:  I pray with beauty before me, behind me, above me and all around me. May I walk in beauty.



This rug is one-of-a-kind, authentically Navajo, and is being offered to support the fine work of Adopt-a-Native-Elder. Pendleton is proud to support Adopt-a-Native-Elder.

More information on Adopt a Native Elder can be found here:

See the rug and bid on it here: Navajo handwoven wool rug

Pendleton Woolen Mills X Tanner Goods for 2016: Made in the USA with a Midcentury Palette


Says Aaron Bengochea for the fine folks at Tanner Goods:

Color can make all the difference. And let’s be honest — it’s a fine line to walk when choosing a palette that is both current and will stand the test of time. Is it any wonder then why mid-century colors resonate so strongly with us? Bold, vibrant shades of cobalt blue juxtaposed with neutral gradients of grey, both accented with a splash of canary yellow — this was a palette we chose for our second collaboration with the fine folks at Pendleton. And when these colorful fibers are woven into a premium, heavyweight wool blanket, the result is something you’ll be hard-pressed to put away when summer comes.


We are crazy about this collaborative run of throw and pillow. They are definitely #WorthHoldingOnto .


Reversing the throw gives a completely  new look. That’s one of the advantages of jacquard loom weaving; the versatility from front to back.


And speaking of jacquard looms, do go read the post on the Tanner crew’s visit to our mill to see their fabric in production. The photography is absolutely beautiful!

See it here: Inside the Pendleton Mill with Tanner Goods.

Shop the collection here: Pendleton x Tanner Goods

Pendleton Weaves New American Indian College Fund Blanket

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-17Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

We are proud of this year’s blanket to benefit the American Indian College Fund.  Naskan Saddle Blanket tells the story of Johano-ai, the Navajo sun god, who begins his day in the east and rides one of his five horses across the sky to his post in the west while dragging his shining, golden orb – the sun. As his horse gallops across the sky, gorgeous hides and ornately woven blankets, known as naskan, lie beneath its hooves.

aicf_naskan_saddleblanketNaskan Saddle Blanket derives its mountain pattern and name from sacred Navajo blankets. It joins a collection of ten blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-3Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), American Indian College Fund President and CEO, said “The American Indian College Fund is delighted with the  Naskan saddle blanket, the newest design in our collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Just as this blanket represents a path taken by a sacred being across the sky, our students also take a journey toward realizing their dreams by walking a sacred path toward success. We honor and celebrate both our students’ journey and our longtime successful partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills as they work alongside us to make our students’ visions for success a reality.”

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-2Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Today, slightly more than 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. What’s more, 40% of the American Indian population is under the age of 18.  The College Fund is helping more American Indians of college age to start and complete their college degree through scholarship support.  The College Fund also provides program support for students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-1Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

“Pendleton is proud to be a part of the American Indian College Fund’s mission, and its purpose to transform Indian higher education,” said Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.  “By creating an awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities and offering students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values, the College Fund enhances their communities and the country as a whole.”


About the American Indian College Fund – Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years.  The College Fund has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students and a variety of programs to support their academic efforts ensuring they have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.  The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators.  For more information, please visit


Our gorgeous model is photographer Shondina Lee Yikasbaa of New Mexico. See more of her work on Instagram: @shondinalee

See the blanket here: NASKAN SADDLE BLANKET

A Woodenboat Adventure: Greg Hatten in Rocky Mountain National Park


Our friend Greg Hatten took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this year. it brought him some memories, some nostalgic and some frightening. Says Greg:

Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915 and is one of the most visited parks in the entire National Park system. It’s located in north central Colorado and has so many incredible natural features it can take days to experience them all.

It was the first National Park I ever visited and when I was 10 years old Smokey the Bear seemed real, the Park Rangers in their pressed wool uniforms and flat brimmed hats were super heroes, and the park itself was an outdoor paradise just waiting for me to explore each year on family trips.



With all the beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, snowy peaks, and colorful meadows of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the feature I most wanted to see on my recent trip was the headwaters of the Colorado River.

In Rocky Mountain National Park, the 1,400 mile Colorado River comes to life as a babbling little brook several hundred miles upriver from the Grand Canyon. A few weeks ago I trailered my fully restored and freshly repainted Portola across the plains of Kansas toward the headwaters of the Colorado River.  I had a lot of miles to think about that experience.


Since it was before Memorial Day, the park area seemed to be just waking up from winter.  A few of the campgrounds were opening and most were unoccupied, new park rangers were still training for the upcoming season, and patches of snow were as numerous as the visitors were sparse.  




The river snaked its way in lazy “s” curves through a valley that seemed to have 1,000 shades of green and then it rounded the corner and disappeared into a deep, dark canyon in the distance. We set up camp on that scenic stretch of the Upper Colorado River just outside Rocky Mountain National Park with towering bluffs on one side and dramatic peaks on the other.  The flat valley beside the river had a rough-hewn log fence that ran the length of the river and when we set up our cots and canvas tents, it looked a little bit like a civil war encampment.


dsc00520-copyThere are adventures galore in this post! You can read the rest here:  Greg Hatten at Rocky Mountain National Park

Pendleton for the National Parks: SHOP




Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to announce two new Pendleton blankets as a tribute to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: Rogue One.”

This is the droid you’re looking for. This limited edition Pendleton blanket depicts the lovable droid BB-8, an indisputable fan favorite and major scene-stealer who debuted in The Force Awakens. Ombré shading represents the blue and red lightsabers of Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s hero and villain, while geometric shapes add a distinctly Pendleton touch.

Dark silhouettes hint at the mysterious heroes at the heart of Star Wars: Rogue One, the latest chapter of the Star Wars saga. This limited edition Pendleton blanket gives you a sneak peek at new characters Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor, as well as the droid K-2SO, the tropical planet of Scarif–and is that Darth Vader and the Death Star in the distance? Bands of green reflect the film’s muted palette.RogueOne_StarWars_MotorRobe_F

The edition size is limited to 1977 hand-numbered units for each of the full-size blankets. Each is presented in a commemorative box. The BB-8 box stacks with the previous four editions released in 2015.




Each blanket also comes in a Padawan child-sized edition. We’re still waiting on our “Star Wars: Rogue One” sample, but here’s the BB-8 blanket. As you can see, it’s a slightly warmer/brighter palette, with a bright yellow whipstitched binding. And he’s a friendly droid for a child’s room!



Every blanket is made in America, woven in Pendleton’s own Pacific Northwest Mill.

The blankets are scheduled to ship in early October. They are available for preorder on Friday, September 2nd. Preorder online here: SHOP STAR WARS BLANKETS

The blankets are also available for preorder at the Pendleton store locations listed below.

Pendleton retail stores:

Downtown Portland

Pendleton Woolen Mill





The Pendleton Home Store

Pendleton Outlet stores:



Columbia Gorge


Lake Arrowhead


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.



Yosemite Blanket photos: Allie Taylor @alliemtaylor

Pendleton Olympics Blankets from 1932 in 2016

It’s an exciting time, with competition and medals ahead. To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at our Olympic blankets, shipped for the Games of 1932. That post is below, but before you read it, please enjoy some photos sent to us by Eric. He read this post and realized he had exactly the kind of rarity we are looking for.


We aren’t sure how many colors we made in this blanket and this is the first lilac version we have seen!

Here is a slide show of this 82 year-old collector’s item in use.

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And now–let’s learn about Pendleton’s Olympiad blankets.

In 1932, we won the commission to provide blankets to the Olympics. Here is a photo of the blankets leaving on a train for Los Angeles.


There are several known colorways for these blankets. In our archives, we have only one, with a very warm color scheme. There are also a light blue and a brights-on-white patterns out there, but we haven’t been able to track down examples. There might even be more. Here is our archival blanket.

WEB_1932 Olympic blanketHere is a close-up of the label.


That’s a VERY CLOSE close up, isn’t it? Even so, the label is worn enough that you might want the label’s text:

100% Virgin Wool

Olympic fever is nothing new, and Pendleton traded on it with themed displays.

1932_Olympic_Display1In the displays, mannequins wear tasteful blanket coats that look modern. We are not sure if those were sewn and offered for sale by Pendleton, or sewn just for display to encourage consumers to get creative with the blankets. Pendleton did manufacture labeled blanket coats for women over the years, but our first women’s sportswear line debuted in 1949 with our 49’er jacket as the centerpiece.

1932_Olympic_Display2And yes, at $7.95, you can’t beat that price.

If you have an example of the other colors of the Pendleton blankets, drop us a line (as Eric did when we ran this post back during the Russia Olympics). We would love some color photos of other examples. Write to us at [email protected] .

Pendleton Experiences in the Grand Canyon

It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world; 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon took millions of years to form and just keeps changing. The deepest point in the canyon is a mile deep. A mile. That’s 5,280 feet, in case you’ve forgotten. Yes, this is one heck of a canyon.

Close to five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. They arrive by car, train and bus, and plenty of them come to stay for longer than an afternoon. The Park has many wonderful campgrounds, but read up on reservations, restrictions and costs. The key word to get the most out of the Grand Canyon is simply “planning.”

We asked some of our fantastic Pendleton people if they’d share their Grand Canyon experiences on the blog. They sent some beautiful photos, and some Pendleton employee park memory stories that illustrate how they took on the Canyon.

Phillip shared his experience with camping on the North Rim:

A few years ago my family took a road trip to the Southwest and visited Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was an amazing family adventure.

Wiant Family Zion


When we arrived at the Grand Canyon and were setting up camp, we realized that my son Henry had forgotten to stow the crank that raises our tent trailer when we left our previous location (I think it was Zion). We polled all of the other campers and no one had a crank. Fortunately I was able to use a wrench to raise the trailer so we didn’t have to leave or sleep on the ground! 

The trip was definitely worth it.

North Rim Henry & Violet 2

North Rim Henry & Violet 1

Another Pendleton person, Annetta, has taken trips with her extended family to many of the National Parks.

Hiking with my son and our entire family, especially nieces and nephews, has bonded us through some unique experiences. The National Parks have been a big part of it.  Every get-together something comes up from one these trips, generating lots of laughter.

In 2004, we all went to the Grand Canyon. Me, my son, all my siblings and their kids hiked down Bright Angel trail to Phantom Ranch to spend the night.

Below: the kids on Silver Bridge crossing the Colorado to Phantom Ranch.

Kids at Silver bridge

We might be smiling, but it was 118 degrees down by the water that day, and we still had several miles to go. Brutal.

The group got ahead of me on the way to Phantom Ranch and because we were so close we didn’t follow our rule and give the last person in line (me) the second walkie-talkie. I missed the turn, ending up on Black Bridge. I yelled down at river rafters for directions. When I realized I’d gone a quarter mile in the wrong direction, the walls of the Canyon echoed with words that are probably not printable.

My son did come back to find me, and very relieved to see me, and not happy about backtracking. The hike is 12 miles each way! We all agreed that the dinner that night at the ranch was the best we had eaten in our lives. No doubt the hike had something to do with that.

Below, all of us at Phantom Ranch on the morning of hiking out.  It was a very quiet breakfast, as we were all thinking about that climb. But we made it!

Grand Canyon Phantom ranch

After hiking out that morning my nephew took his pipes and played them at the canyon edge in the evening. Ah, the energy of youth. 

Kyle and his pipes

Which brings me to my best tip for hiking the Grand Canyon: Take teenagers along who can pack your extra water.

The only place in the world that you can get hiking sticks with Phantom Ranch burned into them is at the ranch itself.  The kids all still have theirs and use them to this day on other hikes with pride. When people ask about those walking sticks, the kids say casually, “Oh this? Yeah, I got it at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.”

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.


Pendleton Weddings: Revisit A Favorite

Ed. note: As part of our Wedding Month, we’re going back to a Very Lebowski Wedding, performed shortly after the release of our first homage to the Dude’s sweater. We’ve since made a replica that you can see here: The Westerley. We still love that first sweater, though, and this Portland wedding remains one of our very favorites.

This past fall, Zoe Fisher and Matt Johnson tied the knot under an ancient tree in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome, but here at Pendleton, our attention was drawn to the row of attending men.

There they are, standing proud in our Dude Cardigan, Pendleton’s tribute to the Westerley worn by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”

I was able to talk to Zoe to talk about her wedding last week, and the first thing I asked her was, did her wedding have an official theme? “It was Portland,” said Zoe. “Just Portland. My husband’s family is from the East coast and this was going to be their first trip out here. So we wanted the wedding to reflect Portland as much as it could.”

Marrying in red is a bold choice. It’s a fantastic color, and Zoe’s dress has a definite Adele vibe. Was it new or vintage? “Both, kind of. I found a vintage 1950s Butterick pattern on eBay and gave it to a Portland seamstress named Skye Blue. She’s into sustainable and upcycled designs, so I knew she’d be up for an unconventional wedding dress. I gave her the pattern and fabric I found for $6.00 a yard at the Fabric Depot.”

And look what she did with it!

The dress was new and old. Zoe added something borrowed and something blue with the Chanel Nouvelle Vague nail polish, owned and applied by a friend.

Zoe was ready to get married in style. But what about the men?

Two occurrences had the bride-and-groom-to-be thinking about having the male members of the wedding party in Pendleton sweaters.

Last December, Zoe saw a feature in Portland Bride magazine that used the Pendleton Jerome cardigan. “It definitely fit in with our theme. Pendleton is the Portland brand.”

Then in May of 2011, The Oregonian ran a feature on the Dude Cardigan, a tribute version of the cardigan worn in a movie that, well, it means a lot to Matt and  Zoe. “We’re basically obsessed with The Big Lebowski. So much so that we quote it almost every day.”

The stars were set to align. But a call to the downtown Portland Pendleton store was worrisome. “The ship date was really close to the wedding, and they’d pre-sold most of the stock before it even arrived. We were on the waiting list!”

Zoe decided to go to the store in person to look at other sweater options. When she arrived, associates were unpacking Dude sweaters and making calls. And once Zoe saw the cardigan in person, no other would do.

That’s where Pendleton people stepped in. Sheri Vanderpool, manager at Portland Pendleton, says, “Associate Michelle Seyer worked with Zoe personally, calling all around the country.” Michelle kept calling until she found enough for Matt’s three groomsmen, and Zoe’s best friend Jazz, who was one of her attendants. The sweaters came from every geographic region.

“We bought the sweaters and gave them as attendant gifts,” explains Zoe. “My dad was a little pouty that he didn’t get to wear one, but I said, no Dad, you’re the father of the bride. You wear a suit.” And of course, the groom Matt wanted one, too. He may or may not be getting one for Christmas. Matt will just have to wait and see on December 25th.

The event was captured on film by Heather Bayles, a Portland photographer who allowed us to use these shots (more shots from this wedding, and more examples of her beautiful work can be seen here).  Ms. Bayles took the pre-wedding shots at the Nines Hotel and the reception photos at the Bossanova Ballroom. Yes, that’s the groom rocking out with friends at the reception.

The very Oregon flowers were provided by Quince .

A big thanks to Zoe and Matt for allowing us to share in their very Lebowski wedding, and a special thanks to Zoe for sharing all the details that went into planning an event of so much heart, soul and style.

When complimented on her bravery for planning an outdoor wedding in Portland’s fall weather, she said, “Well, we decorated our save-the-date cards with an umbrella.” Did the wedding party have umbrellas, just in case? That idea made Zoe laugh. “We’re natives! We don’t do umbrellas!”

Congratulations, Zoe and Matt Johnson, and here’s to a beautiful future together. And if the Johnsons have  inspired you to investigate some creative choices for your wedding, come see us online or at one of our stores. We’d be happy to make it happen for you.

Pendleton wedding gifts: SHOP

A Beautiful Wedding in Sundance, Utah!

Welcome back to our wedding month!


Lisa and Paul were married March 29th 2015 in Sundance Utah.




As Paul explains, “We picked Sundance for a few reasons, we love the mountains, the venue is very rustic yet has nice amenities, and Salt Lake City is really central.  Ease of transport was important as we had family coming in from both coasts.”




“We wanted to incorporate as much of Oregon as we could into the event so we served Deschutes and 10 Barrel beer, Domaine Serene Chardonnay, Beaux Freres PIno Noir, and Pok Pok drinking vinegars at various events.”


“We gave out Quinn Candy, Portland Bee Balm and a lucky ceramic horse shoe by Caravan Pacific (a friend of ours) in our gift bag.”


“In that vein, what could be more Oregon than Pendleton blankets?”


rocker“Since we were having the reception and the ceremony in different buildings, we wanted the guests to be comfortable in transit so we provided enough for the women to wear as shawls.”


“Lisa had her own, which you will see in the pictures which currently adorns a chair in our living room.”


“Sheri, the manager at the downtown Portland store, was super helpful in finding the right blankets for the occasion.”


Congratulations to the beautiful couple, and best wishes for a future as bright as the mountain sun.

photos by Mel Barlow

shop for your own blankets here: SHOP