Supporting our National Parks: Now More Than Ever!

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Karla Morton, our favorite National Park Poet, sent this amazing shot from her “Words of Preservation: Poets Laureate National Park Tour.” This is the Pendleton Badlands National Park blanket, at home in the Badlands National Park. Karla and her fellow poet laureate, Alan Birkelbach, are 26 parks into their tour, with Hawaii and Samoa coming up soon. You can read more on their blog. We wish them well on their journey!

Along with our favorite poets, we have sent quite a few of our Pendleton National Park series blankets home to their parks with travelers, explorers and photographers. The blanket stripes and colors honor the landscapes, wildlife and ecology of our national treasures. Through licensed National Park Collection products we are proud to support two park restoration projects through a donation to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. So far, through Pendleton’s initiatives with park series blankets and collaboration partners, we are closing in on 3/4 of a million dollars for two projects!

Many Glacier Hotel Stairway Project

In the 1950’s, the stunning double-helix staircase circling the lobby in the historic Many Glacier Hotel was torn out to make room for a gift shop. In 2017, with support from the Pendleton contributions, the historic staircase was rebuilt and now stands as a landmark feature in the newly restored lobby.

Grand Canyon Train Depot Project

Constructed in 1910, the Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark and one of three remaining stations constructed from logs in the US. Today it remains an active rail depot, seeing thousands of visitors annually from its location near the canyon’s rim inside Grand Canyon National Park. Funds will support restoration and preservation efforts.

Our original plan was to partner with the National Park Foundation for two years, in honor of their 100 year anniversary. We have extended that partnership, as the parks need our support now more than ever. Buying a blanket is only one way to support your favorite park, and you can also make donations directly.  More information on ways to give can be found here: National Park Foundation Support

As Karla said, “…these lands, while under the preservation of the government, still need champions, still need those who are willing to give their time and hearts to make sure they continue to be protected.” Let’s all do our part.

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Mushroom Hunting with Pendleton and Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley Rodriguez is hosting a new web series called “Kitchen Unnecessary“–and it’s so much fun. As her site says,

Outside cooking is not just for the summer. This series shows you the magic of cooking seasonal ingredients outside all year long. Rain or shine – or snow, Ashley Rodriguez and her guests will take you outside to show you how to embrace cooking outdoors.

On each episode, we will show you how to plan, prep and prepare a seasonal and local menu that you can prepare and enjoy outside. Cooking outside with seasonal and local ingredients, we do not sacrifice taste or technique, but we add a whole new layer of experience and memories that last long after the food is gone.

Enjoy this charming video below (the sheer enthusiasm of her mushroom expert is contagious), and yes, watch for the Pendleton appearance!

Don’t you want some of that pumpkin fondue? You’re on your own for harvesting wild mushrooms, but the throw can be found here: Glacier Park 5th Avenue Throw

Pendleton and the Winter Olympics

Ed. note: Please enjoy a repost of our Olympic blankets from 1932!

Ah, Olympic fever. Fans have been watching the skating and snowboarding, enjoying the games in advance of the opening ceremonies.

Of course, Pendleton has an Olympic connection. 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.

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What’s on the menu? Pendleton Blankets at Eugene’s Inn at the 5th.

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When you’re welcomed to the Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon, expect something special. This boutique hotel is earning glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, thanks to its warm, modern decor and attention to every detail of hospitality and comfort.

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One special detail is the Inn’s Pendleton blanket menu. Guests can let the staff know which of five Pendleton blankets best suit their style.

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Return of the Sun

IG_08_21_GiveawayImageThe Path of Totality has tracked across the United States, and the moment of total solar eclipse has passed. Millions of eclipse watchers were watching the skies of North American, which will not see another eclipse like this until April 8, 2024. We’re celebrating the return of the sun with an Instagram giveaway. Click here for details: INSTAGRAM

And if you win that giveaway? Consider treating yourself to a Return of the Sun Blanket.

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The traditions and activities of the Iñupiat, today, as in the past, revolve around the changing of the seasons. This blanket, inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana, celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season. The Iñupiat mark this special time with the Messenger Feast—a ceremony where the spirits of the past season’s harvest are ushered back into the spirit world. Today, the celebration fosters cultural pride and the regeneration of traditional values. This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund to honor and reawaken a vital part of Native history.

Return of the Sun was designed for the American Indian College Fund Blanket Series by Alaskan artist Larry Ahvakana. Born in Fairbanks, Larry was raised in Point Barrow until the age of six, when his family moved to Anchorage. He left behind his grandparents, his native tongue, and many of the traditional cultural influences that had shaped his childhood. But these have re-emerged through his art, becoming the basis for his inspired work. He works in a variety of media, including stone, glass, bone, metal and wood. His masks bring tradition to life with mythic imagery in old-growth wood.

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mask image courtesy of the Blart Museum

Larry has been a working artist since 1972. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Larry is widely recognized as an educator, instructing over the years at the Institute of American Indian Art, heading the Sculpture Studio at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and founding a teaching studio for glass blowing in Barrow, Alaska. His works are included in a large number of major museums, corporate collections, private art collections and as public art commissions. You can learn more about his work here. And you can see all of the AICF blankets here. The sale of these blankets supports scholarships for Native American students.

As for the sun? Welcome back.

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A Blanket for Your Little Star, Born in the Year of the Eclipse

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Pendleton child-size blankets

…can help you celebrate a baby born during the eclipse year, or just wrap your little star watcher in something wonderful. We weave blankets that tell stories, and we want those stories to be told for generations. A Pendleton child’s blanket will warm your children, and their children, and the children who come after—and will definitely be around for the next full solar eclipse in April of 2024!

Star Guardian

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Crossed arrows stand for brotherhood and the setting aside of conflicts. A peaceful evening has come to the prairie. It is time to light the fires and draw together in the warmth of the fire circle. As logs crackle and flames flicker, stories rise on the night air. Stories of bravery and victory in battle. Stories of stealth and bounty in the hunt. Stories of tricksters and their clever magic. As they share their legends, the People are safe and warm in their tepees. Above it all shines Bear, the great guardian of the night skies.

Chief’s Road

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Chippewa-Cree artist Jesse Henderson designed this blanket of the Milky Way, or “Chief’s Road,” exclusively for Pendleton. The Big Dipper and North Star shine brightly. Bear and moose tracks border the sky. Below, rows of lodges represent the children of the Creator and Mother Earth.

 

Sons of the Sky, Daughters of the Earth

These designs were created in partnership with Virginia Stroud, an acclaimed contemporary Native American artist. Every purchase helps support the honorable mission of the American Indian College Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps fund scholarships for Native American students and tribal colleges. Both designs honor a significant Plains indian tradition: Parents place a newborn child’s umbilicus inside a turtle of lizard-shaped amulet that embodies the turtle’s hard shell or the lizard’s quick movement. This guards the child’s spirit to ensure a long, protected life.

Sons of the Sky

ZE786-52008-Sons-Of-The-Sky-MuchachoThe central turtle amulet is surrounded by celebratory stars and rainbows in honor of new birth.

Daughters of the Earth

ZE786-52009-Daughters-of-the-EarthWater lilies and dragonflies surround a lizard amulet on a soothing rainbow that evokes a marsh sunset.

 

Raven Sunburst

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According to a Steilacoom legend, in the beginning, Grey Eagle kept the sun, moon, stars, fresh water and fire hidden from the people. Then Raven fell in love with Grey Eagle’s beautiful daughter. To please her, he turned himself into a snow-white bird, so she invited him into her father’s lodge. When Raven saw the sun and moon, he stole them and escaped through a smoke hole in the house. Outside, he hung the sun in the sky and flew away. At night, he put up the moon for light and kept on flying, carrying with him a stick of fire. Soon the smoke from the fire drifted over his back, turning his white feathers black.

Wild Horses

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Thundering hooves raise clouds of dust as wild mustangs gallop across the valley floor. These graceful creatures epitomize the free spirit of the West, standing as symbols of pride and tradition for many Native Americans. As the sun sets, stars shine against the vivid colors of the evening sky. This design celebrates independence, strength and mobility, all traits of the wild horse.

And so many more

We have so many choices for your young ones. You can see them all here: Child-sized Pendleton blankets   These blankets are 32” x 44”, perfect for a crib or a snuggle. And they are 100% made in the USA.

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Sky Stories: Pendleton Blankets for the 2017 Eclipse 

If a beautiful Pendleton blanket is part of your plan to celebrate and commemorate the upcoming full solar eclipse, we are here with some suggestions! We’ve been weaving blankets that tell stories for over a century, and some of our most beautiful designs celebrate the night skies. All of these wool blankets are made in the USA.

Here are our Sky Stories.

Night Dance

ZE493-53339-Night-Dance-RobeNight falls as dancers gather on the Square Ground for the Stomp Dance, performed by many tribes: Caddo, Seneca, Muskogee, Cherokee, Shawnee, Seminole and more.  Against the dark blue of the night sky, the bright flames of the ceremonial fire rise.  Mother Fire is considered a sacred being who watches over the dancers and receives their songs and prayers. The Chief calls upon his medicine man and speaker to help him lead this sacred gathering. Men take their places in arbors built facing each of the Four Directions. With traditional and treasured turtle-shell rattles fastened to their legs, dancers begin their shuffle and stomp. Strong medicine and the repetitive steps of the Stomp Dance lead them to an inspirited, meditative state. The night echoes with the haunting call and response of their special songs. The Stomp Dance lasts until morning arrives to fill the sky with colors of Dawn.

Full Moon Lodge

ZL494-53137_legendary_full_moon_lodgeThis design was created in partnership with Muscogee Creek artist Starr Hardridge, and is part of our Legendary Collection. This design illustrates the relationship between humankind, Mother Nature and the creator of the universe, whose medicine is love. It acknowledges our place between the sun and the full moon. Full Moon Lodge is part of our Legendary Collection, which honors stories and symbols of Native American cultures.

Pueblo Dwelling

ZD435-53055_heritage_pueblo_dwellingThis is a vintage design from 1923, the heyday of Native American trade blanket production. Dazzling colors and geometric designs tell a story. Arrows symbolize the paths of life and power. Stars centered in squares echo the bright Morning Star, a spirit honored by many pueblo dwellers. This blanket is part of our Heritage Collection.

Star Wheels

ZE493-53049_jacquard_star_wheelsHigh atop the Big Horn Range in Wyoming sits one of the best-known medicine wheels or sacred hoops. This spoked circle of stones was created by Plains Indians between 300 and 800 years ago. Astronomers have noted that during the summer solstice, the spokes of the wheel point to the rising and setting of the sun, and four bright stars, a discovery celebrated by astronomers.

Northern Lights

ZE494-53415-Northern-Lights-FThe Northern Lights are as mysterious as they are glorious. Native legends offer intriguing explanations for these shining bands of transparent color that dance across the night skies. To the Fox tribe of Wisconsin, the lights were an omen of war, spirits of enemies rising up to do battle again. To their neighbors, the Menominee tribe, the lights belonged to torches carried by the manabai’wok, giant spirits of hunters and fishermen that were out spearing fish.  Northern lights are most visible at midnight in the extreme north, and occasionally seen as far south as America’s Gulf Coast.

Gatekeeper

 

ZD485-51109_heritage_gatekeeperThe Gatekeeper is an original Pendleton design from 1935. This USA-made wool blanket is a beautiful example of a Center Point pattern, which contains a primary design element that falls within a band through the center of the blanket. The eight-point star is a common motif in Sioux culture and often represents the morning star, signifying a new beginning with the break of dawn. As gatekeeper of the morning, it shows the way to the light and knowledge of the day.

Stella Maris

ZE493-53247-Robe-Stella-MarisStar of the sea, or Stella Maris, represents the guiding presence of the North Star. As a ‘pole star,’ it shines an abiding light by which sailors have navigated for as long as man has traveled the sea. The graduated palette of indigo, lapis, turquoise and ivory unfolds in a dynamic chevron pattern that evokes the emanation of starlight in the night sky, recalling the traditional craft of Star Quilts. Designer Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz is an American artist known for her multimedia drawing practice, inspired by iconography of traditional textiles. Her work is exhibited worldwide and recognized by numerous fellowships and grants.

 

Journey West

ZE493-52773_jacquard_journey_westThis dynamic blanket celebrates the pioneering spirit of our founder, weaver Thomas Kay, who journeyed to America from England, arriving in Oregon in 1863. Its design was inspired by a blanket discovered in a 19th-century European mill which included the designer’s notes and calculations handwritten neatly along the sides. The pattern highlights the universal appeal of geometric shapes and lines. The hooked patterns inside the large diamonds are common symbols of luck and prosperity. Its quality and beauty is a tribute to the generations of weavers that have continued Thomas Kay’s legacy of quality and excellence.

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We’re having a gift card giveaway on Instagram over the weekend–starting tomorrow. If you win, which blanket would you choose?