Sunday, March 4, 2012

And we're off!

It's that time again - The first weekend in March is the great start of the Last Great Race - The Iditarod Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome.

Last year the first place team came under the burled arch in Nome in only 8 days.  The saying to remember with this race is "It's not over until its over." Meaning until the Red Lantern team crosses the finish line which is usually the day of or the day after the banquet so about 14 days from the start.

This race is really about the dogs and how they are trained and respond to their musher.  Mushers like Lance Mackey hug, sleep, and kiss their dogs and the responses from them are amazing.  While other mushers can be more business like, it's my opinion that the dogs are really in charge.  We have seen teams that refuse to go and nothing can change their minds until they do. Mushers like Dee Dee Jonrowe are really in touch with her dogs so may take extra time to rest if she feels some of them need that.
This is Derby from Dallas Seavey's Team.
More photos and stories can be found at the Anchorage Daily News.

The Ceremonial Start was yesterday, the real start is today at 2pm AST, meaning 4 hours earlier than east coast time.  I belong to a group on Ravelry called Iknitarod.  We follow the race together online. Many of our members are sled dog enthusiasts or live in AK so the exchanges are informative and enjoyable.
Here are the abbreviated rules for this year's challenge.

  • The 2012 Iknitarod will begin at the same time as the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race: 10:00am Alaska Standard Time on Saturday, March 3.
  • The 2012 Iknitarod will end at the same time as the Iditarod, the moment when the last musher and dog team cross under the burled arch in Nome, Alaska. This last place finisher in the Iditarod wins an award known as the Red Lantern.
  • Participants may work in the fiber art(s) of their choice. 
  • In order to be entered in the drawing, participants much post/share the completed project(s) in this stickied “Finished Objects 2012” thread. Please tag your pieces “Iknitarod-2012” so we can see them all together. It’s fine if finished objects are unblocked, but it must be clear that they’re completed. Projects shared or completed after Iditarod has awarded the Red Lantern will be disqualified.
  • Iknitarod participants may either attempt a start-to-finish piece of work OR may attempt to complete work(s) in progress. Obviously, participants are operating on their honor here. We encourage participants to choose projects that are sufficiently challenging and to otherwise push themselves and their skills in their chosen fiber art. If you’re working to complete a work in progress, we hope that you’ll have at least half way to go; it wouldn’t be very sporting to have nothing left but a bind off row when someone else is working to complete a cardigan.  The bottom line is that participants should enjoy the challenge and if you’ve finished a piece and feel like you’ve met the spirit of the challenge, enter it in this thread.
  • Iknitarod participants may finish and share as many objects as they wish, but each person will be entered in the prize drawing only once. Once the last musher reaches Nome, Iknitarod moderators will close the FO thread and use a random number generator to select a winner. The winner will be announced in the Iknitarod group and that person will be contacted by the mods.

    And this is my Ravelry posting this morning.
    I really really wanted to spin up some Sled Dog and start a new project for this challenge. BUT…….. last night I took myself in hand. I already have too many UFO’s for comfort. Narrowed down the decision to 3 in process. Knocked out the socks as they are already about half done. Then it was between a complicated gorgeous shawl for my granddaughter and a sweater for my mother. The sweater won out as I can do parts of it socially while the shawl takes most of my attention.
    I was 13 inches into the back of the sweater by the time the Ceremonial Start finished. Not half as there is still both fronts, the short sleeves and the edging to do. So that is my Challenge - Mom’s Sunflower Sweater. Have never yet completed a sweater in under 2 weeks so this will be interesting. Maybe I will hallucinate from yarn fumes and lack of sleep instead of wilderness and lack of sleep.
    Now just above the armholes.


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