You are a tatter with some experience and you are now ready to work more detailed patterns using the split ring, mock picot or split chain. The directions tell you to NOT flip the stitch (wrapping). Huh? That is the most common response. You practiced and studied hard to master the flip (tatting), to make the loop transfer and create the double stitch one half at a time. And now it says don't flip? This confusion between tatting and wrapping is easily cleared up.
First, you need to understand what is happening between two threads, the thread that makes the ring around your hand and the thread that goes to the shuttle. When you tat, the shuttle thread and the ring interact: shuttle thread goes around the ring thread making a visible loop, then pulls on it to the right which makes the loop change positions. After the change, the ring thread is around the shuttle thread instead (tatting.)
It takes us a while to master this technique of flipping the stitch and making double stitches on a running line (the ring thread.) And then some pattern comes along and tells us to NOT tat but WRAP. Say what???? Funny isn't it? What we strove so hard to prevent while learning NOW we WANT to do it to make a special construction called the split ring.
Here are some photos we have used in the online tatting class to show the difference. I have used two colors to show you the difference but in most cases the split ring has only one color. The gold shuttle thread interacts with ring thread (blue), the flip is made, and the double stitches turnout to be blue color. This is TATTING.
Now look at the opposite effect. The gold thread goes around the blue thread but no FLIP, no TRANSFER happens, instead you end up with the double stitches in gold. This is WRAPPING.
WRAPPING is what we do to make the "bottom" or the second half of the split ring.
In all cases, return to the first shuttle to close a split ring.
For more instruction on the split ring please visit the techniques page provided by Jane Eborall. She has prepared a set of illustrations showing which shuttle is tatting and which shuttle is wrapping on this page: http://www.e.n.e.btinternet.co.uk/SplitRings.pdf
At the bottom of that page is a drawing showing the "dead spider" hand position to make the split ring without taking the loop off your hand. However, there is another way if that is awkward for you. You can hold the threads in a different position, or even use a third hand
Review: http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2003/encap/encap.html (note the photo that points out WRAPPING)
This shows how to change the hand position.