So, because in the beginning I felt a bit awkward tatting in a corner, getting odd looks, I decided I would just concentrate on how much of the Lupins pattern I could tat in an hour, not worrying about anything but speed and getting the pattern right.
Here is the result of that hour:
It isn't pretty but I am pleased that I get the roll tatting. It actually is surprisingly simple, after all that angst, though I am not tatting fs/bs. Too confusing for me at this point, but I now know I will in the future.
For anyone out there who wants to try this technique, I would suggest that you do not do the ten rolls at a time that everyone seems to find works for them, but rather five! When I switched to rolling only five at a time, I found the whole process much, much smoother.
I find using a good 6-ply thread infinitely better than the 3-ply - which I am beginning to shun. OHH, just listen to that uppity tone! And I thought the folks in the cafe were bad!
Really, I am getting very picky about thread. This could be an ominously expensive transition...