So I played around with the idea. I decided I liked the look of needle tatting for this particular flower. The stitches are "fatter" with a needle and I felt that produced a nicer, fuller petal. I didn't particularly want to start with a crocheted base though; I wanted it to be all tatting, all shuttle!
To get the thickness I was after, I thought of doubling the core thread. So I start this rose with a single thickness, make the centre, then unwind the shuttle and fold the thread in two before re-winding the bobbin. The chain-tatted petals now have a fuller look. I like that.
These roses have sets of five petals so they end up working a bit asymmetrical but I decided I liked that. They are not exactly the same, just like real roses would not be!
I was so pleased with them I made a pair for a friend in pink with some "danglies".
You can see on this photo some of the tatting shrapnel left over from my numerous attempts at getting this rose right.
And finally, here's a close-up
I found some sew-on crystals which matched the thread nicely.