One of the best parts of the Iditarod Insider is watching all the musher interviews. 20 thought it would be fun to do an interview from the Iknitarod Trail. He promised I wouldn't have to actually be on camera,so I agreed to answer a few questions.
20: So how's the race going so far?
TCSL: It's going pretty well. I'm not as far along as I thought I'd be at this point, but we're doing okay. The weather's been really nice.
20: Are you liking your project?
TCSL: Yeah, I am actually! Well, I assumed I'd like it before I started or I wouldn't have started it, you know, but yeah. I'm really liking the yarn, too, so that's especially fun.
20: Any surprises on the trail?
TCSL: Well, not really a surprise at this point, but I've had some gauge issues. Not sure what's going on with that, but it's plagued me for several projects lately, so in anticipation of that I picked a project where that wouldn't be incredibly important. Definitely something to work on for next year's race, but at this point I'm running the course I'm on and trying to not worry too much. There will be some adjustments to make later on once I've made it up the coastline, but I've got a good team. We'll figure it out.
20: Do you think Liddy knows what you are doing?
TCSL: Liddy is an interesting sheep. I think she knows more about what's going on all the time than anyone would believe and probably knows more about what's going on than a lot of sheep. All sheep are smarter than people give them credit for, but Liddy is exceptionally smart. She has been since she was a tiny lamb.
20: I see you are wearing your Maisie sweater. Can you tell us a little bit about why you like to do these individual projects?
TCSL: Well, I think it's neat to raise a lamb, or any sheep really, and watch their wool grow and then when they are sheared, use that wool to make something useful and enjoyable. And it can also be sort of memorial to those special friends. Like the Ford sweater you are wearing.
20: Who's your favorite sweater?
TCSL: I don't have a favorite. I have some I wear more than others, but I wouldn't call them favorites. I like pullovers more than cardigans, so for example, my Elizabeth sweater doesn't get worn as much as say, Maisie or B. Willard.
20: What is your favorite part of the Iditarod and Iknitarod?
TCSL: You know, I really like a lot of it, both races. I think part of why I really like following along with the Iditarod back stories, like watching the musher interviews as they are getting their dogs settled in for a rest, is because I take care of animals here. So while I don't know exactly how hard it is to take care of that many dogs in subfreezing conditions, I do know what it's like to take care of animals. How they are partners on my team and not just for the two weeks of the race, but all year, just like the sled dogs. I walk up to check on everyone at night or set out some fresh straw in the barn and I think, you know, there is probably a musher in Alaska doing the very same thing right now.
The Iknitarod, again, I like a lot about that, too. The group on Ravelry is really fun. Lots of support and encouragement for the knitting, but also updates on what's going on with the race that I can't keep up with during the day, answering questions... Like yesterday. I had to work the lamb barn and someone was texting me about who was coming through the checkpoint they were watching. I feel like I've missed a lot of the coverage so far and that really helped.
I had hoped I'd picked an easier project this year so I wouldn't have to push so hard to get it finished and could enjoy more of the coverage and watching the live feed as mushers come in or even just participate in the online chats. That hasn't really worked out so far, but I'm hoping between maybe being able to eliminate a pattern repeat or maybe even two that I'm going to feel a little less stressed. Once I get off the coast (the lace and cable border) and into the interior, as long as my body holds up, that's a lot of nearly mindless mushing so I can probably do that while I watch and catch up on the podcasts. The podcasts are really good. In the meantime, I'm doing the best I can and when I'm tired or sore or having to rethink my strategy...it's sort of like taking care of the dogs. I get a tiny feel of what it is like to take on that long race.
20: So how is your body holding up?
TCSL: Could be worse. I know that. Could be a lot better, too. My back and my right shoulder is a bit achy and my right hand, especially my thumb, is kinda sorer than I'd like. Heck, I'd like to not be sore at all, but the only thing that's sort of worrying me is my right elbow. Feels okay right now, but it hurt some last night. Taking the morning off to do chores and this interview gives everything a little break. I hope.
You know, back to the actual race, it sort of goes without saying that beauty of Alaska just can't be beat. It just so incredibly beautiful that I usually start crying when I watch the Run Dog Run updates where they take a few minutes to show the surroundings, the teams, the dogs close up, aerial footage of teams, the sun setting...add some slow motion shots and cue some beautiful music and you better get me a box of tissues.
20: What you'd better get is back to knitting! It's been fun chatting though. I may have some more questions for you further down the trail.
TCSL: Okay. Yeah, I'd better keep moving.
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If you have any questions you'd like 20 to ask, leave them in the comments. It's been fun posting a blog during the day before my brain is completely shot and my eyes crossed.