On a coal flame, melted sugar is heated till it starts boiling. All this while, you keep stirring with a wooden spoon. (And make sure you do it well or else the man supervising will snatch the spoon and start stirring himself!!)
The supervisor checks if there are any knots in the liquid. When he is convinced, the sugar is taken off the flame and a pinch of soda is added to it. And THEN, you STIR STIR STIR, in long circles, STIR STIR STIR.