I spent most of yesterday struggling with a nightmare warp – a sticky alpaca/wool (?) mystery yarn in my stash that I had decided to use up in a differential shrinkage project. (Astonishingly, I own very few shrinkable yarns – it’s mostly silk and cashmere – so this odd lot was all I had in the right size.) I wound the warp and decided to dye it after winding it, which might have contributed to the problem, but (whatever the cause) the warp wound up being unbelievably sticky. I couldn’t pull the lease sticks through it at all – I had to clear it by hand every inch of the way, picking off little bits of fuzz every two or three inches. For six yards.
In retrospect, of course, I probably should have abandoned it and gone on to the next warp, but you know how it is when you’re deep in a project – you don’t want to throw it away. So I persevered, and beamed it on in about six hours (!). However, after all that effort, I needed a break from weaving. What to do?
Well, faithful readers may recall that I had planned to revamp my website about a year ago. I had hired a graphic designer and redone the “look” of the site, hand-coded the page templates in HTML/CSS, and then paid a friend to do the remaining work for me. She flaked out on me, and I gave up.
Fast-forward to the present. I’m unemployed, I have some free time, and I want to sharpen my Web design skills/resume. I don’t want to create static pages – I want to use a content management system (because it will make maintenance and future uploads easier) instead.
So I did some research, and have decided to use WordPress to manage my website. This may sound a little odd since its primary application is blogging, but I think it would suffice for a relatively simply structured website, which mine is. (WordPress actually IS a content management system, just a fairly specialized one.) I’m also familiar with WordPress, and understand its basic structure, and it’s easier to maintain than Drupal. So WordPress it is.
The next question is how to approach it. I have a BIG website. In fact, the prospect of having to migrate all the pages, photos, etc. is pretty daunting; that’s where I got stuck last time. However, the Agile methodology that I was just studying seems like a lifesaver. Agile emphasizes “sprints”, or short development cycles each of which produces a usable result. In other words, one doesn’t start by doing all the templates, and then getting bogged down in lots of mindless migration work. Instead, one starts by doing a small component of the site (say, the front page), and then breaks the work down into chunks, each of which is functional and can be used. This appeals to me since it means I’ll be able to see progress as I go, which in turn increases the likelihood that I will actually finish the process.
So that is the approach I am using. Since I just learned how to apply Agile/Scrum, I need to practice the techniques on something to sharpen my skills, so I am going to spend some time setting that up Scrum-style and getting it clear in my head.
I am starting to feel a bit over-burdened with projects – the weaving itself is a full-time project, and then I have a few other things that will need to be done in the next week or two – but I have faith that it will all muddle out in the end.