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Posts from the ‘miscellaneous’ Category

Code Talkers: Native Heroes, Never Forgotten

As part of native American History Month, we’d like to look back at a favorite blanket, Code Talkers (retired in 2012), which honors the exceptional valor and service of Navajo Code Talkers during WWII.

The Code Talkers developed a code that could not be cracked, based on the Navajo language. The (now retired) design shows the Navajo words and their coded meanings, which remained impenetrable to German code-breakers throughout the war.

The history of the code talkers  is more riveting than any film or any fiction.  You can learn more at their official site, and  at other sites that tell this fascinating story, which was told in the popular movie “Windtalkers”.

They don’t have a Pendleton blanket, but the Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI   deserve recognition for their role. This small group of Choctaw soldiers conveyed crucial information over tapped phone lines.  You can read more about them here, and see a full list of their names.

It is worth noting that these Native American soldiers fought for the USA before they were even granted official citizenship in 1924. In the year 2008, the United Sates Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to recognize Code Talkers from several nations: Navajo, Choctaw, Comanche and more.

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As the years march on, there are fewer Code Talkers to honor, but these heroes will not be forgotten. Though Code talkers is no longer available, the Brave Star blanket celebrates the patriotism and military service of Native Americans.

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This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

To learn more about the role of Native Americans in America’s defense over two centuries, click here: Native Americans and the US Military

 

Pendleton x Kitsbow Icon Shirt for 2016

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We’re proud to show off our newest collaboration with Kitsbow: the Icon shirt for 2016. This shirt is a marriage of wool, Nature’s first technical fabric, with Schoeller 3X Dry panels.

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Icon shirt features include:

  • articulated sleeves and cuffs to create an adapted fit ready for riding
  • Classic menswear styling
  • Perforated stretch gussets at shoulders for increased mobility and ventilation both on and off the bike
  • Laser cut 3X Dry Schoeller panels strategically placed over shoulders and elbows for abrasion resistance
  • Pendleton Wool woven in Washougal, Washington
  • Leather label with hand-branded logo

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This shirt happens to be Men’s Journal‘s pick for best cycling shirt.

Here’s what they’re saying about it:
“This Pendleton wool flannel shirt has been in Kitsbow’s lineup for a few years now and during testing it’s proven rugged both while commuting and as an excellent piece for hiking and even as an apres-ski shirt. The USA-woven wool is naturally wind- and water-resistant, and a lot warmer than cotton flannel. Kitsbow adds venting and articulation at the backs of the shoulders, as well as subtle patching at the shoulders and elbows, the better to protect against abrasion if you decide to ride singletrack in the Icon. For us the best application though has been as an everyday piece that flows seamlessly between commuting, coffee shop runs, and weekends chopping wood to build a bonfire.”

Just a note, here. Kitsbow chooses the fabrics for these shirts.  It never fails that when presented with the full array of our Umatilla wool plaids, they choose the very best of the classic Pendleton plaids. So go see the full selection.

16_icon_family_5060Shop the full selection of ICON shirts here: SHOP KITSBOW

Thanks to Kitsbow for all photography. Now get out there and ride!

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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.

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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.

 

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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: http://www.anelder.org/

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

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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.

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

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

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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 www.collegefund.org.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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

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PENDLETON® RELEASES “BB-8” AND “Star Wars: Rogue One” LIMITED EDITION BLANKETS

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.
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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.

 

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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!

 

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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

Reno

PDX

Seattle

Milwaukee

The Pendleton Home Store

Pendleton Outlet stores:

Centralia

Washougal

Columbia Gorge

Woodburn

Lake Arrowhead

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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

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 readers who have found some interesting colorations of Pendleton Olympiad blankets.

Paul, of Ahsland, Oregon, found this rarity:

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Beautiful green, and how about those ombred stripes? Nice, yes?

And we also heard from Eric. He read this post and realized he had exactly the kind of rarity we are looking for.

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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–with the help of some of these fun color photos–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.

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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.

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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:

Genuine
OLYMPIAD BLANKET
100% Virgin Wool
1932
PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS
PORTLAND, OREGON U.S.A.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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