Special Gifts for Special Grads – Pendleton Blankets

A young woman lays on her stomach on a Pendleton Olympic National park blanket, in a field of tall, dry grass. She is painting a watercolor.

Photo by Hannah Ward Art

Graduations and Journeys

Life is a journey, and a graduate is setting out on an entirely new path. A Pendleton blanket makes a perfect companion on that journey; warm, soft, with made-in-the-USA quality that will last for generations. Here are a few ideas for your new grad.

Park Series Blankets

Does your graduate love the great outdoors? Consider our National Park Series blankets. These striped patterns are some of our favorites, with colors that reflect the geography and flora of the parks for which they’re named. The blankets and throws have special patches, inspired by the window decals travelers were given at the gates of America’s earliest parks.

In a vintage photograph from the 1920s, a smiling woman in a Model T Ford points at her windshield to show off her National Park stickers.

The Glacier National Park blanket, by Pendleton. A white background with a stripe of black, yellow, red and green at each end.

Glacier Park, shown above, is a favorite. Size selection varies by style, but these blankets can come in twin, full, queen and a new throw size. See them here: Pendleton National Park Series blankets

For Those Who Serve

For the graduate who is entering the United States Marine Corps, nothing could say “congratulations” more than the new The Few, The Proud blanket. This special design is approved by the USMC.

Marines_Pendleton_blanket

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor is the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. Each element signifies the Marine Corps mission and legacy. The anchor reflects the naval tradition of the Marines as part of the Department of the Navy. The globe represents readiness to serve in any part of the world. The bald eagle, symbol of America, holds a ribbon in its beak that reads “Semper Fidelis,” or “Always Faithful,” a reference to the unending valor and loyalty of the Corps.

See this blanket here: The Few, The Proud

Off to the Dorms

For those headed to the dorms, a Pendleton Camp Blanket is a terrific choice.

Yakima_Camp_Beauty

This 100% wool blanket is inspired by the bedroll blankets found on the packs and saddles of trail riders and shepherds in the American west. At night, these blankets were unrolled for a night by the campfire, under the stars. Not a bad companion for a new grad’s journey!

A Yakima Camp blanket in heathered taupe, with bands of red, green and tan at each end. By Pendleton.

There are quite a few color and size options. See them here: Camp blankets

Also available in a throw size here: Camp Throws

For the Heroes at Home

Some graduates begin training as an EMT and/or firefighter as soon as they are done with high school. Firefighters are a special breed, who run into the buildings that most of us run out of. If you have a graduate who will be training for this profession, consider the Wildland Heroes blanket.

The Pendleton Wildland Heroes blanket shows bands of geometric designs that also include evergreen trees, with a dark forest green background, light blue trangles to symbolize water, and yellow and orange accents that represent the threat of wildfires.

The scent of smoke fills the air. An orange glow lights the horizon. Mother Nature is on alert, and Wildland Firefighters stand ready to defend her. These brave men and women hold the line against fire’s destruction with team effort; digging lines, running hoses, saving structures when they can. In Pendleton’s tribute to Wildland Firefighting, bands of deep forest alternate with lines of flame, lighting trees endangered by flame. A portion of this blanket’s sales help the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which supports families and injured firefighters in times of need.

See more information here: Wildland Heroes

A Favorite

And you can’t go wrong with an iconic pattern like the Chief Joseph design.

The Chief Joseph blanket in grey, turquoise, green, white, and orange,by Pendleton

It’s available in a color and size for everyone, including a special cherry pink that benefits N.A.R.A.’s Native women’s health program.

See all your options here: Chief Joseph Blankets

A Pendleton blanket is the gift of a lifetime. If you’re looking for a different type of gift, large or small, we have plenty of other suggestions at Pendleton-usa.com. And wherever your graduates are heading, we wish them well.

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Greg Hatten guest post – Buell Blankets and the St. Joseph Museum

A guest post!

Today’s post is from our friend Greg Hatten, of WoodenBoat adventure fame. Greg has always been interested in our Buell blankets (all retired, but one is still available), which were part of our Mill Tribute Series. Greg decided to find out some information on the original Buell blankets at the source; his hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. Enjoy this visit, and if you’re interested in our Mill Tribute series blankets, links to our previous posts are below.

Buell-2-table

Buell Blankets Headed West

St. Joseph, Missouri is my hometown. It’s a dreamy little river town that started out as a trading post on the banks of the Missouri and quickly became a launching pad for pioneers headed west to Oregon and California in the mid 1800’s. Some historians estimate that 250,000 settlers made the trek by wagon and on foot between 1850 and 1900. Most of those trips started in St. Joseph or Independence – where final provisions for the 5 month journey were acquired before embarking on the grand westward adventure that started by crossing the Midwestern prairie. Many were leaving for the rest of their lives.

Provisions and Provender

Wool blankets were on the provisions list of every trip – for sleeping and trading with Native Americans along the way. In St. Joseph, the Buell Woolen Mill was the primary source for blankets headed west. Known for quality over quantity, the blankets were strikingly colorful and many designs were based on patterns used by different Native tribes in paintings and beadwork out west. They were prized by the pioneers and Native Americans alike.

Buell-2-slide

As stated in the 1910 Buell Catalog:

Missouri ranks up with the first in the production of good staple wools, and the surrounding states produce a quality almost equal. We buy the choicest lots, have first pick, and train our buyers to get the best… We obtain the best dyes possible that we may produce the required fastness of color, and many beautiful shades and combinations which have made Buell…Blankets the handsomest, most desirable line in the world.

A Visit to the Buell Museum

As I packed for my most recent trip west to run Wild and Scenic Rivers in a wooden boat, a friend of mine asked if I had seen the small collection of Buell blankets at the St. Joseph museum.  I hadn’t – so I made a call to Sara Wilson, Director of the Museum, who is as enthusiastic about blankets as I am about wooden boats and canvas and wool camping.

The next day I visited Sara and watched as she put on cotton gloves, opened a box, carefully lifted out two colorful Buell blankets from the early 1900’s and spread them on the wooden table. Her reverence for these artifacts was touching as she pointed out the tri-colors , the double weave, and the attention to detail that made these blankets so special. I immediately enlisted in her small band of “blanket historians” trying to preserve, protect, and expand the Buell collection in St. Joseph.

Buell-1-table

Setting Out Again

Back home on Lovers Lane, I readied my wooden boat and packed my Land Cruiser for the trip to Idaho across the plains of Nebraska. Among other things, my provisions list included wool blankets from Pendleton Woolen Mills. For my river adventure on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in the Frank Church Wilderness, I chose two blankets to take – a utilitarian camp blanket in slate gray and a colorful Chief Joseph blanket for more dramatic photos of canvas and wool sleeping beside the “River of No Return.”

Greg_hatten_packed_rig

Pendleton Blankets

My friends at Pendleton have always spoken of the Buell blankets with the utmost admiration. Pendleton’s  wool blankets have been a part of every adventure I’ve undertaken in the past 15 years. It was pretty amazing to learn about this little thread of blanket history running through the backyard of my home town as I prepared for the first in a series of adventures featuring wood boats and wool blankets on Wild and Scenic Rivers.

 

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If you have a Buell Blanket, images of a Buell Blanket, or a personal story about Buell Blankets, please contact my friend and blanket enthusiast, Sara Wilson, Director of the St. Joseph Museum. You can email her at  sara@stjosephmuseum.org

Thanks, Greg! We hope some beautiful Buells make their way to the museum. And for those of you who would like to read more about the Pendleton series that pays tribute to these blankets, here are the links:

Mill Tribute Series: Buell

Mill Tribute Series: Capp

Mill Tribute Series: Oregon City

Mill Tribute Series: Racine