How to: Make Sock Poi

festival

Having finally emerged from Lounge on the Farm, pulling straw from my hair and ears still ringing, I have decided to further inform you all of how to have a really, really good festival experience. Naturally, my first thought on this subject concerned poi.

Poi is the art of swinging balls on string around your body, without smacking yourself in the face, stomach, arse or crotch. It all began with the Maori women, for whom poi was used in traditional dance. Now it’s more of a hippy travelling game, and you can’t move at any self-respecting festival for fear of walking into someone’s flying sock.

I made a pair recently, having left my old ones (now a little too short) in Bristol. The perfect opportunity to feverishly document my handiwork. And so:

how to,poi

You will need:

– A pair of long socks (readily available from any market stall or teen goth)
– A pair of scissors
– needle and thread
– rice

Firstly

Take the scissors in one hand, and a sock in the other. Cut the foot of the sock from the leg. As so-

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Secondly

Actually, the next couple of steps are interchangable. I leave that up to you…

Turn the legs of the socks inside out and sew across the foot end. A running stitch is fine.

how to,poi

Turn the socks the right way again.

Thirdly

Take the foot part of the sock and add rice. I usually fill each with about 4oz(100g) though I like my poi heavy. Don’t worry too much about the weight, but do make sure they’re fairy equally weighted.

poi,how to

Twist the top of the foot part and fold it back over the rice-filled part, so it resembles a little ball. You can also use hair elastics to tie off the top.

Fourthly, and finally

Put the balls of rice into the leg part of the sock. If they fall straight out of the bottom, return to step two.

poi,how to

The Finished Product

Ta-da!

poi,how to

On the left, you can see what it looks like if you forget to turn the sock the right way after turning it inside out. A bit silly.

Now you’ve filled your socks with rice, you can celebrate by making strange arm movements like this!

Lia,poi,festival,lotf
Lia swings the blues…poi

Further instruction in the mastery of Poi
How to make FIRE poi Oh yes.
How to make and play with poi. Very enthusiastic poi enthusiast!
The Three beat weave One of the first and easiest poi tricks, as well as the The butterfly.

Or if you just want the professionals to show you how it’s done: Fire shows and/or Circus Workshops

The best way to learn poi though, in my experience, is meet up with like minded fellows and hang out in parks and at festivals swapping tips and tricks. I learned in various parks in Berlin after meeting up with Ed, who’s been spinning poi for three years now and knows a thing or two, as well as having infinite patience! It does take a while to get the hang of, you’re swinging rice around your head in socks for Gods sake, it’s not normal!, but it’s well worth it when you start thinking…If I put one hand here, and spin it there, and do a little turn and Guys! guys! How did that look!? Also, spinning with fire is amazing.

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Go forth! And spin!

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