Okay..... after the split ring, let's work on the mock ring. Right .... the name 'mock ring' may sound confusing to some but after going through this, some of you will be thinking .... 'is that all that it is?', LOL.
Mock ring is not new. I first learn about it when I was browsing the net on the subject of tatting and came across the GR-8 Shuttles Homepage site with the SCMR (self-closing mock ring) instructions in it.
So, in a nutshell.... a mock ring is a chain that joins back on itself and following are some photos that I hope will explain it better. I can think of two ways to make the mock ring. One is the GR-8 Brothers' way and another is the way that I am going to show below. Others may have their own method of making mock rings, which I'd like to know too.
For the purpose here, I start with a chain, using two colours of thread to show the different shuttles used (left pic) After making the chain, I slide a paper clip to the core thread to make a mock picot on the underside of the chain. After that I tat a few more double stitches and a few picots in between (right pic).
Next, remove the paper clip and make a shuttle join (or lock join) to the mock picot left by the paper clip. Make sure that the end of the chain is pulled close to the join before tightening the shuttle join (white thread). This brings the two ends of the chain together to form the shape of a ring.
Continue making several more double stitches after that and you will end up with something like this (right pic) - a mock ring on top of a chain.
And now, in pictures, the self-closing mock ring (SCMR) the GR-8 Brothers' method.
After making the required number of double stitches in the chain, make a loop in the shuttle thread by holding it with one of your fingers (left pic). I am used to controlling the thread for the double stitches of a chain with my forefinger, so I use my ring finger to hold the loop in the shuttle thread.
While keeping the loop in place, tat the rest of the required number of double stitches (right pic).
Then, remove the loop from the finger that is holding it. Slide the shuttle through the loop and pull the shuttle thread slowly. This closes the ring by bringing the end of the chain to meet the beginning.
Pull it tightly close and you will get a ring formed as in the picture on the far right.
Here is a picture of the the two mock rings together. The one on the left is by the first method and the one on the right is by the second method. If you look closely, you may see a speck of white in the one on the left from the knot made by the shuttle join.
Okay... so now you know about mock rings .... but it doesn't look any different from rings on top of a chain which can be made when working with two shuttles...
Aha!... that's just it .... now you can make rings on top of chains with one shuttle and a ball thread. Isn't that useful to know! But there is more .......
If you are working with two shuttles, you can make this double-decker.
Here's how. Remove the loop from your finger mid-way through making the mock ring. Make a full ring using the other shuttle and close the ring.
Continue making the rest of the mock ring, making sure that the loop is not pulled through the chain. At the end of it, close the mock ring as before.
And now, you have a ring sitting on top of another ring.
A simple pattern for a double-decker star that has mock rings in it is available here. The pattern uses two shuttles.