Monday, 28 May 2018

Mock Rings 1 Under and Over Join

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SCMR is a mock ring, but not every mock ring is a SCMR (self-closing mock ring).
While trying to explain this to someone who used SCMR as a default term, I started to remember so many different ways a mock ring can be shaped.

Mock Rings have been around for centuries. A mock ring is essentially a chain that is joined back on itself to create the impression of a ring. The difference lies only in the way the chain is closed.
In order to avoid overload I will break up the presentation into segments. This post covers mock rings made using the Under and Over Join.

Mock Rings 1: Under and Over Join

Once the tatted chain was invented, it was a simple step to convert it into a mock ring using an Under and Over Join - with or without a picot. Under and Over Join is a type of ‘across’ join, allowing us to move threads to the other side across an existing element.

A single shuttle filled with cream thread and a ball with variegated colour are used for clear distinction in this pictorial.
There are 5 stitches between every picot; each ring is 5-5-5-5 & chain 5-5.

1-A. Under and Over Join: Without joining picot; Unattached rings

After a normal ring (cream), RW and 5-5 chain (above pic), we start working on a long chain (5-5-5-5) that will form the mock ring. 

Place shuttle thread above and ball thread under the chain. Continue tatting the chain normally, enduring that the first half stitch after the crossover is nicely snug.
A mock ring is made, with the chain (running scroll) moving across from above.

Note: Because of RW, the mock rings face the same side as the first normal ring.
We know this popularly as Alligator or Capture Join.


Let’s see what happens if we switch thread positions (ball above and shuttle under). 
It is difficult to control the shuttle enough to get a continuous chain above. 
But it can be useful in directional (fs/bs) tatting when working from the back side.

This method is useful when the elements (in this case mock rings) are free/unlinked and the threads can be positioned on either side.
But if the ring is attached to previous element, here’s how the join can be made.

1-B. Under and Over Join: Without joining picot; Attached rings

After linking the chain to previous ring, both threads are in front of/above the chain.
Pull a loop of ball thread down from under the chain, pass shuttle through loop, and snug tightly. Continue tatting chain.

In this case, after linking the chain, both threads are below/under the chain.
Pull a loop of ball thread up, pass shuttle through it, and snug tightly. Continue tatting chain.

This pulled loop is very handy when crossing over any previous element as in faux Celtic tatting. I used it in Teri Dusenbury’s Flurry snowflake. The pattern instructed slipping the long ball thread through the spaces and tatting the chain (as in #1A or alligator join). It was cumbersome and prone to tangling. Pulling a loop through the joining point is a quicker, more efficient method.
I made this in 2015, but am unhappy with my work.

This is a view from the back.

Without a joining picot at the start, there is greater flexibility in shaping the mock ring, but one also has to be extra careful to see that the ‘join’ is snug and secure. Adding a small picot at the start of the chain ensures accuracy and stability. I will show this in next post, along with some observations.

…. to be continued
Till then, enjoy tatting all over :-)))


  1. Mock rings can be very useful.

    1. ...and I have barely scratched the surface so far, Jane ;-P I ws surprised at the variations in mock rings!

  2. I must admit i also use SCMR as a synonym for mock ring and i now know better. Thank you for explaining it.
    The under and over join looks interesting but i think from the back it is not as smooth as a normal ring. The faux Celtic though looks like a great application. I can't think of a better idea of "jumping over a chain".

    1. In a sense, that synonym is exactly what started the whole explanation (to tatter) and exploration, Lavi ;-D
      Interestingly, Elgiva Nicholls points out that the U-O join was not considered as true lace because it did not lay flat!

  3. I just posted my response to this on the one below too ooops :( and I get what you are saying. I realized that my current little project has onion rings and it is not my favorite with the big ugle loop showing but I guess that is what happends and I also used variegated thread and this shows up more I think too.

    1. Carollyn, for purposes of clear distinction in pictorials, I use different threads in each shuttle/ball. Here I was particularly glad of the variegation which highlights every little detail (some ugly ;-P).

  4. Wow, great idea, I should try. You inspired me - thanx a lot :-)

    1. ...and this is merely the beginning, Justyna :-D

  5. Replies
    1. Anetta, sometimes we forget the past. So it's nice to refresh our memory ;-D

  6. Mock rings are definitely more than just SCMRs. I'm fond of creating mock rings by joining to the same picot twice and of using a paperclip to hold a space and then joining to the space held by the paperclip. I find my SCMRs tend to be lopsided because of how tight I pull up the loop. The paperclip method doesn't tend to tilt.

    1. Thanks, Vickie :-) Yes, I'll be covering those methods (and more) as well.
      Interesting observation about the lopsidedness in SCMR - need to see if mine behave in similar manner.