After doing this one three times, I finally have one that I am happy to post. Of course, the other two versions weren't bad either ... they just fell into puppy antics or rather the curiousity of our new puppy, BJ, who chewed the knots in several places.
I did make one major change in doing the first portion of the medallion. The initial instructions had the first ring being made of 12 double stitches, a LONG picot, 12 double stitches, then the remaining 7 rings being made as 12 ds, + (into the long picot of the first ring), 12 ds. I opted to have the rings being 10 - 4 - 10 for the first ring, 6 rings of 10 + 4 - 10 and last ring of 10 + 4 + 10. I really like this look. The medallion still needs to be blocked but I'm happy with the overall effect and plan to make a larger mat using these medallions and some GORGEOUS vintage, ecru DMC cordonnet, size 30.