Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rootin' for Newton

 For the last few years I have not had much incentive to carefully watch the Iditarod as I am no longer teaching. The Iditarod was a perennial March project in my classes for most of those years.  Since March is also Women's History Month the student teams chose a woman musher to follow through the race.  They found out as much history about the musher, her dog's names, budgeted for supplies and then mapped her progress along the way.  Each day they used the computer to find the daily standings which tell where the musher is, how many dogs are still racing and times of running and resting. They also sometimes emailed to other students in Alaska and afterwards sent a letter to their musher.   It was a ball.  Some years we even had a guest musher visit with his or her sled and dogs.

Jim follows both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod on the computer and keeps me up to date on his fav mushers.  This year a wonderful woman who has huskies and does some skijorring started a new forum on Ravelry called Iknitarod.   It has developed quickly into a great source of Alaskan info with many of the members living currently or in the past in AK.   We are getting first hand pics, not from the formal press but from our members.  These are from the Ceremonial Start on the streets of Anchorage. And these from Mile 4 along the way yesterday.  I always check on Dee Dee Jonrowe (Queen of the Iditarod)

 and Ally Zirkle (first woman to win the Yukon Quest).

Some of us are following specific mushers while others are just following.
Mitch Seavey was one of the first mushers I followed oh those many years ago when I first became a fan.
  I chose to watch Newton Marshall, a rookie from Jamaica because  I loved the Jamaican Bobsled team a few years ago. This musher appealed to me in the same way.  Also his sponsor is Jimmy Buffet ( I LOVE his music).  Newton started his sledding careet in Jamaica with carts and rescued SPCA dogs, then moved on to more northern climes.  Any purchases from the site go to both Newton and the SPCA so I like that part too. This is his page on the Iditarod site.

Newton's Team in Anchorage on Sat, 3/6

Once the intense Knitting Olympics finished and I got back into the swing of things this new challenge was really appealing.  However, after several over-do-it crashes in the past I am learning to do some pacing. Amazing, huh? This doggy challenge will be accomplished in minutes rather than finished objects, giving me the chance to complete some UFO's.  There are 1120 miles in the race this year so I have committed to knit 1120 minutes.  That comes out to 2 hours 4 minutes a day if I was going to finish with the front runners.  With Newton being a newbie, I doubt he will arrive in Nome in only 9 days so will most likely have several more days to play.  YES!  More knitting.

I made myself (and any other Newton follower) a ravatar (Ravelry avatar).

Then made a general one for any group member to use.

This Ravatar features Loki, one of our moderator's huskies.  
I am also so thrilled that so many members have chosen to use this Ravatar.  Really really thrilled.  And to be honest. I like this one better than my Newton Ravatar.  

Knitting objects for the race include: completing a pair of Sherbert & Ernie socks I started a week or so ago for me;  a baby hat to go with a completed sweater for Baby Mae;  and work on the January Fondle This! shawl which is now half done.  When I get all this completed a spring sweater for moi will be started as a reward.

The official re-start is at 2pm Anchorage time today, 3/7, (6pm EST) in Wasilla, Alaska.  
My progress will be posted each time Newton gets into a checkpoint.

Go Newton!!!!!

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