Letting Go

The moment I had been dreading came and went. My son left for university.

The summer seemed to fly by. It’s not as if I spent every waking hour with him. There was work for him and for me. And time with the girlfriend. He took turns hanging out with his friends, figuring they would see each other again on breaks and holidays, knowing full well things would never be the same. We managed to find a few hours here and there for Mother-Son time. It gets hard to do so when they’re 18.

I’ve mostly been in denial. Even as we unloaded his things from the car and helped him set up his room, it seemed like just another summer camp, only this one would last much longer. I could see momentary fear in his eyes when we first arrived. Everything was so new, uncharted. As the day progressed and he was settled with familiar things around him, he seemed to relax.

On day three, it was time to let go. I gave his room one more motherly pass, wiping countertops and putting things away, and then there wasn’t anything left to do, except say goodbye. As if on cue, my husband went to get the car. I knelt beside my boy and said a prayer. I looked into his eyes and I saw that he was ready. The tears flowed momentarily but I reigned them in and put a smile on it. I kissed him and said goodbye.

As we drove away from campus onto the interstate, the tears escaped. So many memories came to mind. The day of his birth. The moment the doctor placed him on my stomach, still connected to me by the umbilical cord. The times he cried when someone he didn’t know well picked him up – those great big crocodile tears flowing like a waterfall and the cutest pout ever. Images of him grabbing his toes the way babies do. Watching him pour a bowl of scrambled eggs on his head and cracking up. The time he had pneumonia and lost all that weight. Multiple emergency room visits and IVs to calm his asthma, followed by endless popsicles. Him getting sick every time I had to go out-of-town on business. Him sitting and sulking in time out. Picking him up from school and knowing he was in trouble just from looking at his face. So many memories.

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

A week has gone by. I keep myself busy. I’ve started Chinese language classes again and I have two knitting projects on the needles. And for the first time since we were married, my husband and I have had some one-on-one adult time (we both had kids when we met). I try not to think about him being away. There is a certain peace in knowing he is where he needs to be and I have to trust that I’ve prepared him as best as I could. It’s up to him to do the rest.

A Made in China Giveaway

One of my favorite pastimes in China was shopping in local markets. The chaotic aisles and aggressive salespeople in the touristy markets got old after a while. The local markets were much calmer. They were still busy but mostly filled with locals who needed basic household items. While haggling was still expected, the starting prices were usually much more reasonable.

As I wandered the aisles, I found these bags that I thought would be perfect for knitting projects. There were all sorts of patterns and color schemes. The size is just right for 4-5 balls of yarn and a small project, like a hat or scarf.

China Knitting Bag

I love the drawstring top and inside zippered catchall pocket.

China Knitting Bag Drawstring
China Knitting Bag Interior

It’s easy to clean – just wipe with a damp cloth. It has this nifty side pocket for needles or a pattern.

China Knitting Bag Outside Pocket

Then I came across these tin pencil boxes. Some had hinged lids and others like this one a zippered closure. I thought they were perfect for crochet hooks and other notions.

China Notions Box Zippered

China Notions Box Zippered Samples

My next finds were these pill boxes. Some were clearly for medicines with their standard labels for each day of the week. But others were just for small stuff.

China Pill/Notions Boxes

For a knitter, crocheter or seamstress, they’re the right size for stitch markers, safety pins, buttons, sequins and whatnot.

China Pill/Notions Boxes Yellow

China Pill/Notions Boxes Compartments

Lastly, I was in need of stitch markers and had not seen any in the yarn stores I located, so I had to improvise. Every market had bins full of these little charms. There were lucky cats, teapots, and colorful beads. They were very light and made the cutest stitch markers.

China RePurposed Stitch Markers

China Charms/Stitch Markers

To celebrate the end of an amazing overseas experience, I am having a “Made in China” giveaway. I will send a care package of various items like the ones above (plus some yarn and a few surprises) to one winner selected at random.

Any of the following actions will enter you into the drawing:

  • Follow Agujas blog (if you are already a follower, you are already entered!)
  • Reblog this post or blog about this giveaway with a link back to Agujas
  • Follow Agujas on Twitter
  • Like Agujas on Facebook
  • Follow Agujas on Tumblr
  • Like this post
  • Comment on this post

Multiple entries are okay! I will ship the package to you anywhere in the world. Thank you for reading and good luck!

A Totally Frivolous Post

It was time for a manicure so I walked into a nail salon near the apartment. The place was tiny. It only had room for 5 seats and they were always occupied.

What drew me in was the clientele – all young ladies mostly in their twenties. The manicurists were laughing and talking as they bent over their intricate work. Every now and then they argued. Their voices grew louder and more demanding. Scowls were all too common. One of the younger girls was a bit clumsy, always managing to trip over someone’s foot or bumping someone’s arm just as they were about to paint a nail. She got the brunt of it.

At first, all I wanted was a new color. Then I started paying attention to the other customers. The colors went far beyond those of the rainbow. One lady was carefully applying bright purple sequins on someone’s nail with a toothpick. Another sprinkled glitter from a brush. Yet another painted tiny designs on each nail guided by a picture in a book. They were like artists mixing nail colors together, consulting with each other, choosing just the right sequin or ornament from trays and trays of shiny baubles. I was hooked.

I had fun trying new designs. Like putting on a new persona in a faraway land. Besides, I like the look of pretty nails while hands are clicking away on knitting needles.

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I love giving out blog awards!

Sally at SoKnitSome and Louisa at Knitting Revolution have given me the opportunity to highlight blogs I enjoy with two awards. Thank you to So Knit Some for the WordPress Family Blog Award and to Knitting Revolution for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. I have long read their posts and enjoyed perusing their photos. It does feel like a wonderful extended family!

Agujas is pleased to nominate the following blogs for the WordPress Family Blog Award.


    1. LittleBlackDogSA
    2. Rogue Crafter’s Studio
    3. Gluis Yarn
    4. That Hooking Blog
    5. Hooky Queen
    6. Wayward Pioneer
    7. Danni and Charlie Do Craft
    8. Diary of a Mad Mama
    9. Girl Meets Yarn
    10. It’s Knot You

Agujas is also pleased to nominate these blogs for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award
Wonderful Team Member Readership Award
  1. Stitches ‘n’ Scraps
  2. HX Green Soul
  3. Tinkerbell Knits
  4. UK Crochet Patterns
  5. That Girl Nathalie Apple
  6. Cindy Hancock
  7. My Other Loves
  8. Batu Surya
  9. Shetland Hand Knitter
  10. Upon the Waves
  11. Weaving Southwest
  12. White Sheep
  13. Quiet Wander
  14. Colour Cottage

For each award, the recipients should (1) Display the award logo on their blogs, (2) Link back to the person who nominated them, (3a) For the WordPress Family Blog Award, nominate 10 blogs that have impacted your WordPress experience and family, (3b) For the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, nominate 14 blogs that exemplify the qualities of a wonderful team member, and (4) Tell your nominees you have awarded them.


Blogs That Make Me Smile or Laugh So Hard That I Double Over In Pain

Hannah at Not Your Average Crochet gave Agujas the Sunshine Award! I love the blooming flower cushions that she made – they’re so playful and make me smile. Thank you Hannah!

Sunshine Award

Now I get to nominate five blogs that brighten up my day:

Drawn2Knit & Crochet2 – Not only is Jennifer a knitter and crocheter, she’s a fabulous artist. I love her watercolors – so soft and whimsical. This is one of my favorite drawings by Jennifer. The character is named Genevieve and you can even purchase a print of it in her Etsy shop. (Image used with permission of the artist).

Genevieve, Drawn2Crochet

Angry Pear – I think you know that I love Angry Pear. Drew has me crying with laughter with Pear’s antics. Here, poor Pear finds that moths have made holes in her forgotten knitting. (Source: angriestpear.com).

moths-full - Angry Pear

Peas and Cougars – I recently discovered Rae’s alter ego. I thought I was going to pass out from laughing so hard. Have you noticed that I seem to be drawn to angry cartoon characters? (Source: peasandcougars.com).

waiting-2 from Peas and Cougars

The Knit Princess – Created by Allison (writer) and Melody (artist), this cartoon features a princess obsessed with all things knit. You can even purchase Knit Princess comic strip collections or t-shirts such as the one that reads “There’s no such thing as too much Stash.” Amen to that! (Source: knitprincess.com).

The Knit Princess 2009-03-07

Mister G Kids – Matt is a substitute teacher who happens to also draw. His depictions of the things kids say are funny, touching, heartwarming and just plain honest. (Image used with permission of the artist).


Thanks to these blogs for bringing a little bit of sunshine to my day!