Hello and thank you for stopping by. My name is Barbara M. Harris. My interests are varied but mainly are fiber arts, photography, and technology. Other stuff is the catchall that doesn’t fit into the other three categories.
I have been knitting since the dark ages of the last century. I have always enjoyed working with fibers. I started out learning to crochet at the age of seven. Being left-handed, my mother had a hard time trying to teach me to knit. In the early 1980s, my mother gave me a book on knitting, Left-handed Knitting, by Regina Hurlburt (ISBN: 0-442-23585-2). Being left-handed, I mirrored what was in the book. So, guess what? I knit like all those right-handed people! Once I learned to knit and purl, my mother taught me how to do cables. To this day, I love knitting cables.
Like most other knitters, I have my likes and dislikes. My favorite knitting is socks. There is nothing nicer for your feet than a pair of custom-made socks. I have stopped counting how many pairs of socks I have knit.
I knit my socks from the toe-up for one very simple reason: I have never been able to figure out how to do the Kitchener stitch. I think it is partly because I’m left-handed and the instructions I have seen on YouTube and elsewhere are always for right-handers. Somehow, I cannot mirror it to get it to look good. It was easier to figure out how to knit from the toe up. I have been knitting toe-up socks for almost two decades. I’d say that was a little bit of time.
In addition to knitting, I also hand spin and dye fibers. I started spinning yarn before knitting was popular again. I was looking for certain types of wool yarn that was not available at that time. Knitting is my first fiber arts love, but I find spinning and creating beautiful yarn just as rewarding.
Finally, the last of my fiber art endeavors is dyeing fibers. I have done both natural and synthetic dyeing. I have even done extensive dyeing with Kool-Aid™, with some interesting results. Dyeing fiber is a lot of fun. The results can be very unexpected, but it is a learning experience.
Photography is an activity that I have been doing since my teens. My father loved photography, and I shared his interest. I became seriously interested in photography when in college. I developed and printed my own black & white photos, and did some color printing with Cibachrome™.
In 2010, I went digital, and have not looked back since. Using my computer as a digital darkroom is so much more convenient and easier than spending all those hours in a darkroom. I still have all my darkroom equipment: film developing reels and tanks, enlarger, trays, darkroom light, and a variety of other necessary accessories. I enjoy the freedom that a digital darkroom gives me. Before anyone starts to get upset, I do know that film provides a better image because you can get continuous tone and color changes, something that is a lot more difficult in the digital realm.
Technology is just a nice, broad way of saying computers. I have always enjoyed gizmos, gadgets and other electronic do-dads. My first exposure to computers was in high school, back in the dark ages of the last century. At that time, IBM supplied our physics classroom with a teletype (TTY) terminal. We students here able to play with it a bit, but not all that much.
When I was in college, I took two programming courses between my sophomore and senior years. I learned two, now rather antiquated languages: PL/1 (Programming Language 1) and APL (A Programming Language). Yup, that is exactly what those acronyms stand for. Such originality…NOT! Today I develop software using languages such as C++ and Swift. I can program in other languages, such as Java, C, Python, and Perl, but I prefer C++ and Swift.
It has been a long, interesting road travelled since those mainframe days. In my previous life, I was a programmer and systems administrator for over 23 years. During that time, I have seen how technology has changed, and I changed with it. I was an early adopter of mobile computing. My first home PC was actually one of those 35 pound “luggables,” the Columbia VP computer. It was an IBM compatible computer that came with 2 double-sided 5.25″ floppy drives and a 9″ green on black CRT screen.
In 2010, when I switched from film to digital photography, I found that Microsoft Windows did not fit my needs. I switched to an Apple MacBook Pro with OS X (now MacOS). A year or so later, I cut any remaining ties with Windows, and started using Ubuntu Linux. I have been almost Windows free ever since. It’s really quite freeing.
Other stuff is the catchall category for anything that is not fiber arts, photography, or technology related. It’s like the junk drawer of ideas, events, and just things in general. All I can say is that this topic will be an eclectic mix. forewarned is forearmed!
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact me.