For my birthday last year, I threw an absolute rager and forced all my party guests to compete in a multi-rounded, me-focused trivia game. Less elaborate, but somehow equally self-obsessed, is the Bay's 350th birthday celebration: commemorative blankets celebrating different throws throughout company history. The "point" blankets will be released one month at a time, starting this month—but the design isn't exactly new.
Point blankets were born in 1779, when an independent fur trader about to enter into the Hudson's Bay Company delivered his proposal of terms. One of his suggestions was that the company should trade "pointed" blankets, which had an indigo stitching that represented the overall finished size of the blanket. A blanket with one point was 2 3/4 feet wide and 8 feet long. The more points, the larger the blanket.
The points on the Bay's commemorative blankets are more for fashion than function, but each still serves up a little bit of history, as a treat.
February: Sky Blue
The first Sky Blue blanket was first introduced in 1929 as part of the Pastel Tones Colourway series. The colour is inspired by Canada's waterways (from sea to sea, baby!) and hasn't been available since the 1980s.
Seems unfair to beavers that this brown-toned blanket is named after camels, but somehow the humped dromedaries managed to become a classic fashion icon while the stars of the fur trade are stuck with nickels. This design is a century old, but still at home in any living space.
April: Ice Cream
Okay, ice cream is a food, not a colour, but apparently when you're 350 years old the rules of the rainbow no longer apply. This colour scheme is inspired by spring's optimism and coincides with the rise of suburban shopping malls in the late 1950s. I scream, you scream, we all scream for consumerism!
May: 350 Commemorative
This is the newest point blanket design, but it's reminiscent of the Oxford blanket, a cream blanket with a single black bar. The gradient is meant to symbolize changing tastes and today's neutral tones. Probably not a great colour scheme for a birthday party, but ideal for a post-party nap in your minimalist living room.
The gold blanket was originally released in 1929 in the same series as this month's Sky Blue blanket (along with a yellow one dubbed "Canary" that I'm a little disappointed didn't make it into this lineup). The colour is meant to evoke the "pure sunshine of an idyllic Canadian summer day"—a perfect hue to wrap yourself in when beach day is cancelled on account of the rain.
Finally, scarlet: This colour has been in production continuously since the 17th century, longer than the Bay's classic multistripe pattern (and longer than red and white were selected as Canada's national colours). You can't spell bold without old.