It did turn out. Below you see the final Ice Crystal doily. It turned out quite nicely.
I don't think the 'dropped' joins really matter. And, you were also right when you said continuous reference to the pattern was necessary. I was not able to move away from the pattern as the repeats were quite involved.
As the discussion continues out in Tat-land about traditional tatting verses front-side tatting...I figured I'd give it a whirl. This was my first attempt at front side tatting. I think I only forgot to do the front side tatting on one of the outer rings. I'm pretty content with that.
Now, I'm starting the second course (artisan) stage for the T.A.T. proficiency program. The first stage (apprentice) was a wonderful learning experience in which I acquired several new techniques. The jury was quite nice with only a few surprises. I've waited quite awhile for this stage as there are a few things I'm not 100% interested in learning. However, I will probably really appreciate the learning. I really want to work through this stage over the next couple months.
Have you all worked through this and what was your experience?