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Pendleton Woolen Mills Receives Fisher House Patriots Award

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Pendleton is proud to be the recipient of the Fisher House Patriots Award. The award was presented on March 23, 2016, at the opening of the  70th Fisher House location in Vancouver, Washington.

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We are honored to be part of this compassionate endeavor. The Fisher Houses provide a comforting, first-class “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide free temporary lodging, so military and Veterans’ families can be close to the loved ones during medical crisis.

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Pendleton has supported the Fisher House Foundation since 2006. We do this by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Grateful Nation blanket and Grateful Nation vest to the Fisher House Foundation.  The Patriots Award recognizes this contribution, and will be displayed in our Heritage hallway. The engraving on the hand-finished crystal face of the award is etched with the following words:

Presented to Pendleton Woolen Mills

Recognizing extraordinary efforts supporting the quality of life of

our greatest treasure…

our military service men and women and their families

 

Overall last year, the Fisher House Foundation has helped in these ways:

  • Families served: More than 27,000 in 2015
  • Daily capacity: 931 families
  • Families served: More than 277,000 since inception
  • Number of lodging days offered: Over 6 million
  • 7,000 students have received $11,000,000 in scholarship awards
  • Over 58,000  airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $88 million

Fisher House Foundation is a unique, private/public partnership formed to support America’s military heroes, both Veterans and active duty service members, in their time of medical need. We are extraordinarily proud to support the Foundation’s humanitarian work serving those who have fought for our country.

At the March 23rd Fisher House ribbon cutting ceremony, John Bishop, Pendleton Chairman and 5th generation family, presented a special, custom-embroidered Grateful Nation blanket to the staff at this newest location.

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On Monday, March 28, the first families to reside at the Vancouver campus Fisher House crossed its threshold. The Foundation expects to serve 500 families in the new site in 2016.

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Photos courtesy of the Fisher House Foundation. Used with permission.

If you would like more information on the Grateful Nation blanket and the Grateful Nation vest, please read our earlier blog posts here: Grateful Nation.

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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.

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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

A Pendleton Adventure with the Grey Wolves of Yellowstone

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photo credit

The gray wolves of Yellowstone are heard more often than seen. Their eerie howls can echo up to fifty miles, summoning the pack before or after a hunt. Yellowstone’s wolves are efficient predators, able to take down animals many times their weight by hunting in packs. Through strategic harrowing, you can watch them bring down a buffalo here. They are strategic, efficient and effective predators. They are also protected within the park, but this was not always the case.

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When Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872, the goal to “conserve and protect” didn’t extend to the park’s wildlife. Visitors were free to hunt and kill any game in Yellowstone. The gray wolf was especially vulnerable, even after the Secretary of the Interior regulated hunting in 1873. As an “undesirable predator,” the gray wolf was subject to a massive kill-off by the US Army in 1907 (1,800 wolves and 23,000 coyotes). The 1916 legislation that created the National Park Service included language that authorized the “…destruction of such animals and of such plant life as may be detrimental to the use of said parks, monument and reservations.” This is known as “extirpation,” and the consequences are devastating.

By 1926, the gray wolf of Yellowstone was eradicated. This allowed the elk population to grow, contributing to the overgrazing of Yellowstone’s deciduous trees, which affected the small animals and birds that rely on the aspen and cottonwood groves for their habitat, and the fish in the streams churned by more hooves. Without competition from the grey wolf, the coyote population rose dramatically, and those able predators over-thinned the pronghorn antelope population. Park managers, biologists, conservationists and environmentalists were in agreement; the wolf was a necessary part of Yellowstone’s ecosystem.

The campaign to re-introduce the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park began in the 1940s. By the 1960s, there was an explosion of awareness concerning ecosystems. Scientist, conservationist and hunter all agreed that there was a need to restore Nature’s balance. When the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1966, it paved the way for identification and preservation of fragile species. The gray wolf was one of the first animals to be declared endangered.

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The program to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone began with 14 wolves trapped in Canada, near Jasper National Park. Seventeen more Canadian grey wolves were captured the next year, and added to the program. The wolves were initially placed in “acclimation pens.” They were released fully into the wild in April of 1996. By the late 1990s, the wolves were making their comeback.

This sighting comes from Pendleton’s own Katie Roberts, who shared a Pendleton employee park memory with us.

I took a Science class in high school where we got to take trips to both Yellowstone and Glacier. We were allowed access to the parks in the offseason, so we were basically the only ones there. On the Yellowstone trip, we were tracking wolves for our class. They’re pretty elusive creatures, so we didn’t see any until the very end of the day, right before sunset. Not only did we see the biggest Wolf Pack in Yellowstone (at the time), we saw it chase down an elk and kill it! It was pretty crazy, the “Nature Channel” in front of our eyes. I spent a lot of times in both parks growing up, but that was probably the wildest thing I’ve ever witnessed!

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Here’s Katie at the time (left). She doesn’t look too traumatized by her National Park adventure with wolves…

Wolves are magnificent and eerie, and absolutely vital to Yellowstone’s ecosystem.Today, there are around 100 living in 10 packs in Yellowstone. The effect on the park’s ecosystem has been extensive, thanks to the “trophic cascade” that falls from an apex predator at the top of the food chain to all the animals, birds, insects and plants that make up the food chain of its prey. Wolves actually help to transform their physical environment. Here’s a fascinating video that talks about how the wolves of Yellowstone have changed the rivers of Yellowstone. It is well-worth watching, and explains trophic cascade. Enjoy.

 

We did a custom mug for Yellowstone featuring the grey wolf here: Grey Wolf Mug

And you can support the National Park Foundation with Pendleton’s Yellowstone collection here: SHOP

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Greg Hatten in Yellowstone

Our friend Greg Hatten, the WoodenBoat adventurer, is floating some of our country’s National Parks as part of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. To celebrate Yellowstone national park’s 144th birthday, we are looking back at Greg’s trip on the Yellowstone River. Enjoy!

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Greg Hatten is an accomplished guide and fisherman who splits his time between Missouri and Oregon. He is happiest on the river in his wooden drift boat, the Portola.  Greg’s Portola was built to the exact specs of the original Portola piloted by conservationist Martin Litton down the Colorado River in 1964 as part of a historic journey that helped save the Grand Canyon. As difficult as it is to believe, there were plans at the time to dam the Colorado River, flood the Grand Canyon and turn it into a gigantic reservoir.  Wooden drift boaters took to the river, along with a documentary crew, to make a film that brought national attention to the proposed reservoir project. This river journey helped save the Grand Canyon for future generations. Greg’s 2014 recreation of this journey is part of his larger commitment to our National Parks.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Greg is running rivers through some of our most beloved Parks. Pendleton will be following his journeys on our blog, starting with his trip to Yellowstone Lake.

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On this WoodenBoat adventure… it was late May and the lakes in Yellowstone National Park were free of ice earlier this year than anyone could remember. Usually on Memorial Day weekend, this park is just waking up from its winter hibernation – the snow is patchy in places, the campgrounds are just starting to open, and the staff and crew coming from around the country to work for the summer are learning the answers to hundreds of questions they will be asked by the visiting tourists from around the world. The park was green, the wildlife was stirring and except for the sparse number of tourists, it seemed like it was midseason.

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Greg sets up camp Pendleton-style, in a canvas tent with our Yellowstone National Park blanket AND one of our newest products. Greg has only good things to say about our new roll-ups, which are virgin wool camp blankets attached to a new waxed cotton fabric that we are just a little bit proud of.

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As you can see, so far we are offering this blanket in Badlands, Glacier and Grand Canyon. Greg says it sleeps like a dream in the wild, and we trust his opinion. So go read all about his trip on his WoodenBoat blog, especially the meal. Everyone here in the office wants to try Greg’s campsite cuisine!

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park

March marks the birthday month of Yellowstone National Park. Covering 2,219,791 acres in Wyoming, Montana & Idaho, Yellowstone is recognized as the oldest National Park in America.

It was President Ulysses S. Grant who signed legislation to preserve the Yellowstone Wilderness for future generations, and his words are forever emblazoned on the north gate into the park: “FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE.”

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Yellowstone is enjoyed by nearly four million visitors each year. Many are drawn by the unique  hydrothermal attractions of the geyser basins.

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Others are drawn to the hiking and camping.

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And many are drawn to fishing the pristine waterways.

OurFreeWays_Yellowstone031What follows are some of the beautiful words of Teddy Roosevelt, the “conservationist president.” These words capture his reverence and for and devotion to the wilderness. The beautiful photos were taken by a #Pendle10Parks explorers who brought the Yellowstone National Park blanket home to Yellowstone.

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“The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world.”

Even during times when the buffalo was considered to be extinct, small remnant herds grazed the Yellowstone wilderness, making it the only place in the United States where bison have continuously grazed since prehistoric times. Yellowstone is currently home to two of the largest buffalo herds on federally protected land.

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“The farther one gets into the wilderness,

the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.”

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“Life is a great adventure…accept it in such a spirit.”

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Enjoy your explorations.

Thanks to Corey & Liz of @ourfreeways for #pendle10parks photography

See Pendleton’s Yellowstone blanket HERE

#TBT to the World’s Longest Wool Blanket

Did you know that Pendleton holds a World Record? Well, now you know! It’s for a blanket, of course.

IMG_2233We think it’s fitting that the oldest and largest U.S. blanket manufacturer would make the world’s longest seamless blanket.

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Here are the stats:

Blanket length:
432 feet of seamlessly woven fabric equal to approximately 1 ½ football fields in length. The blanket measured 331,800 sq inches, 2,303 sq feet (more square footage than the average house in Portland, Oregon). The blanket required the fleece from over 50 sheep to produce.

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Weight:
380 pounds – so heavy, the blanket was rolled onto a giant spool and transported via forklift.

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Woven:
This is a Northwest effort; the yarn for the blanket was dyed, carded and spun at Pendleton’s Washougal, Washington mill. The 82% pure virgin wool/18% cotton blanket was woven in our Pendleton, Oregon mill. The blanket was washed, felted and bound in Pendleton’s Washougal, WA mill. Pendleton’s jacquard looms, which were used to weave The Largest/Longest Seamless Blanket required 778 minutes to weave. Typically the looms weave one blanket in 12 minutes.

 

Pattern:
The pattern is an archival design (since retired) that was part of our Heritage line. This is one of Pendleton’s oldest designs, dating back to the early 1900s.

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It came to be called the Geronimo  pattern after a photo of Chief Geronimo, who was photographed wrapped in a blanket in this pattern.

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Chief Geronimo was of the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. His bravery and heroism are legendary. Photo courtesy Barry Friedman

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An extremely rare photo of Chief Geronimo and his followers waiting for battle. The Chief stands, unarmed, in front of the mounted warrior. Photo by C. S. Fly, March 1886

The World’s Longest Blanket visited the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon, and the Home & Garden Show. It was eventually cut and sewn into specially labeled throws with black felt binding. The proceeds of this sale went to charity. One of the throws is currently hanging in our Heritage hallway, if you’re ever in the neighborhood and would like to see one.

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And that’s the story of our world record!

George’s Best Day with Pendleton Pet

 

We can’t express our happiness at being part of the story of George’s Best Day. George is a service dog who helps a young lady named Bella with walking.

Watch and enjoy George’s best day. We promise, it will give your own day a mighty lift.

 

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Photo courtesy of ABC news

Learn more about BarkBox here: BARKBOX

And you can see Pendleton Pet products here, including George’s Gigantic Bed: Pendleton Pet

Greg Hatten’s WoodenBoat Adventures: Olympic National Park

rangeGreg Hatten’s travels took him to Olympic National Park earlier this year to paddle Lake Quinault and fish the Quinault River (shown from above).

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Olympic is one of our rainiest National Parks, and Greg visited during one of the rainiest winters on record. This is Washington State we are talking about. In our upper left corner of America, it takes a lot of precipitation to make us even notice it’s been extra-rainy. And Greg and his wooden boat were headed for the Olympic Penninsula, which is actually…a rain forest.

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The river was rough and full of strainers, and the fish were hiding in the unsettled waters. This wasn’t an easy trek, folks.  You can read about it here, and see more photos.

We were taken with this photo of a magnificent herd of elk Greg encountered on his way in (his boat is on a trailer in this shot, if you’re wondering).

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And he even checked into the beautiful Lake Quinalt Lodge for the night.

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Lodge-viewview from the lodge – what a place to get married!

Being Greg, instead of sleeping here…

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…Greg opted to sleep here.

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You really want to read about this journey over at Greg’s blog. It was a mighty adventure, with some scary moments and fun rewards. And if you’d like to sleep like Greg, you have your choice of our Harding blanket in Thyme, new this year:

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Or Greg’s trusty Badlands bedroll, which has seen him through many nights of camping:

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You can shop for Pendleton’s Parks blankets and more at http://www.pendleton-usa.com.

But this?

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You have to go out there and get it on your own.

 

Greg’s Olympic Adventure

Greg’s WoodenBoat Adventures Blog

 

 

Happy National Pet Day!

Because you love them…

 

 

 

And they love you…

 

 

Because they are always ready to go…

 

 

 

 

Because they are the first to give you a lick…

or a look…

#Dog naps with #Pendleton. #pendledog #woof #pendletonblankets regram from @collabfashion

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on

 

or a laugh…

What a perrrfect Sunday. #meow #cat #catsofinstagram #lazysunday #Sunday #pendletonblankets #pendleton #decorate #catnap @aaylamae

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on

 

 

 

…and now for a moment of #zen. #pendledog #woof #Pendleton #pendletontowels #color #dog #swimming #sleepy @thiswildidea

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on

 

 

Or a lift!

 

We are happy to celebrate National Pet Day with you here at Pendleton.

Little dog living large. #pendletonpet #terrier #bedtime #dogsofinstagram #pup

A photo posted by Pendleton Woolen Mills (@pendletonwm) on

 

 

Thanks to all our Pendleton petbassadors and instagram friends who have shared their wonderful pets with us.

Shop: Pendleton Pet

Mother/Daughter Goals: Wrapped Up in Pendleton

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Tara and her daughter, Mya, posted some photos on Facebook recently, and did they ever catch our attention. So we asked if we could share.

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These women are radiantly beautiful!

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Tara and Mya say that a photo shoot wrapped in Pendleton blankets was part of their”Mother/Daughter Goals.” Thank you, ladies!

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Photo credit: Dave Laus
Skin care products: www.niawen.com
Makeup artists: Two Chicks & Some Lipstick

Shop the blankets:
Heritage Turtle
Beaded Bandolier