Saturday, April 19, 2008


La Paz

Here's one of the latest afghan squares that I've knit for the Sacramento Knitting Guild's charity program (#10). This is a very easy stitch pattern, but I had a heck of a time writing up the instructions for the last few rows. That's because the stitch count changes on every other row! So, depending on what row you end with, to make a 7" square, you have to decrease back to the original cast on number of stitches. Hard, but done.

Then I realized that I needed more yarn in order to complete the 20 different 7" squares. That's hard to find in Mexico. I purchased the original yarns in Barra de Navidad - way south, and haven't seen it anywhere else. As luck would have it - I found some here in La Paz! Whoo hooo! I've never been so glad to buy some crappy acrylic yarn! I had to get some different colors, but no biggie.

As I've said before, there are slim pickins for yarn on the coast of Mexico here - just acrylic and some crochet cotton. But wait...there's more?

As we were riding our dinghy thru Marina La Paz to the dinghy dock to go ashore, I caught a glimpse of a woman sitting in her boat's cockpit in a very familiar pose...her elbows were away from her sides and she was looking down. Could that be? Was she knitting? YES! I saw her throw the yarn and made Jonesy change course to go over to her boat. I found another sailing knitter - Gail from the sailing vessel Volare.

What was she knitting? Market Bags made from the plastic bags that the markets stuff our groceries into. Yep, add plastic grocery bags to the short list of "fibers" us knitters have to work with down here. Gail showed us a couple of her completed Market Bags - they are great!! So soft and flexible - what a wonderful earth-friendly project. She kindly showed me how to cut the bags and join the rings to form the "yarn". We cruisers use market bags to haul our purchases from the stores to our dinghys to our boats out at anchor, so when I make some of these, they'll be put to good use.

Speaking of the boat at's a photo taken from our boat looking towards the city of La Paz. We always have ocean-front views from the Niki Wiki. Next, there's a photo taken from the beach front road in La Paz looking back at our boat at anchor in the harbor. What does this cost? Nothing, nada, zilch, free!!! Hahahaha, I laugh at the folks spending big bucks in the marinas. Anchoring out is the best!

So, we've been walking around the city of La Paz here, exploring and eating at all the great little restaurants! I'm loving somebody else doing the cooking and dishes. This city is so much cleaner than everywhere else we've been - even Puerto Vallarta.

It is very much like Southern California - down in Riverside or San Bernardino Counties. There are a lot of cars, good sidewalks, small stucco houses,and "gringo" food items available in the larger markets. The air is very dry - I had to dig out some lip balm and facial moisturizers that I haven't used since we were in San Diego.

We can understand why some cruisers come down here from the states and get stuck here. La Paz is a great place to hang out and the islands are just a day sail away.

So, when is a palm tree not a palm tree? When it is a cell tower of course! The thing that gives it away that this is a fake palm is that it is just too tall. But other than that, I think they've done a fine job of disguising an otherwise unsightly tower. We had some of these back in the Sacramento area that were made to look like pine trees.

Photo of a church in downtown La Paz. See the sidewalks and the clean street?

Then, here's a photo of several sea cucumbers climbing on the rocks right by the dinghy docks! The picture is a little blurred because these guys were under about a foot of water. The sea life is just everywhere! Mexico has a real national treasure in their coastal areas and they are making efforts to protect it.

We purchased our annual Conservation Passes for $26 US per person which allows us to enter all of Mexico's national parks, monuments, and preserves. These passes also allow us to anchor at any of the islands, and go ashore. I wish all cruisers contributed to the preservation of Mexico's natural environment.

And finally, more knitting...This is square #11 and it is just a simple knit & purl design. Gansey sweaters often have these type of patterns and I adapted an old design for this 7" square.

We are planning to leave La Paz on Monday morning providing the the winds calm down. So no more internet after that for a few weeks. We'll be cruising the Sea of Cortez north up to Agua Verde and perhaps beyond...

I am impressed that there is a clean Mexican town since the ones I've seen are ones to which I'll not return! ANd, I've never seen the 'fake' trees used as utility poles. I really, really like that idea!
I'm lovin' the pictures. Extraordinary. The market bags are fun too! I need to try making those one day.
Awesome post! Loved reading it. You are livin' THE Life, girl! I miss it, but guess I'm more the landlubber type...unless I could take my cats and they refuse to go. Hey, I just noticed the baby booties on your blog (the very last photo). Any chance you'd share the pattern, or where you got it so I can get my own copy! SO CUTE!!! I'd buy a pair of those if you'll knit them! Have a great trip with fair winds and following seas! Deborah/Benicia
The city looks very nice!! It has been windy here too... I have needed my chapstick as well :-)
love the stitches you are using for the squares. Looking forward to when you check back in.
i know it's a knitting blog :-)
but i've heard that crocheting the market bags is easier on the hands...i've made the "yarn" & done some testing. i like the idea of repurposing this plastic "fiber." safe travels
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