Roll Tatting has always been one of my favorite techniques in Tatting. I had the opportunity to teach it in Palmetto Tat Day on 2010 and one of my roll tatting designs has been use in the IOLI Tatting Proficiency Program. I'm adding to this page the classes and patterns taught in 2010 with some new additions.
Also you can check Karen Cabrera's video in You Tube.
Once the technique is learned you can apply it to almost any pattern that have bare thread between rings. Here are a couple of examples from Priscilla Tatting Book #3. Also in the book you can find information on Roll Tatting and other less used techniques.
You can find a free copy in the Antique Pattern Library.
This is Fig. 14. It's a classic 1 shuttle pattern. Rings are 3 - 3 - 3 - 3, leaving a 1/4" space of bare thread between rings.
Now let's substitute the stitches and that bare thread space for roll tatting and the effect is totally different.
I changed the rings to 1, 5 rolls, 1-1, 5 rolls, 1-1, 5 rolls, 1-1, 5 rolls, 1. Reversed work and made a chain of 1, 10 rolls, 1.
You can also make your regular ring as in the pattern and make the roll tatting only on the bare thread.
Here is another example. Fig. 16 lower edging. The closed ring is 3 - 8 - 8 - 3. The half closed ring is 3 + 8 - 3. This ring is not closed completely. Here, in this bare thread on the ring is where the roll tatting can be applied.
The bare thread was substituted by 1, 15 rolls, 1.
You will need to experiment a little with the amount of rolls needed to cover the bare thread. My samples were made with thread #10. If a finer thread is used probably you will need more rolls.
Here is my Onion Roll Motif Pattern. Just click on the image to get the PDF.