The deep pink atom hasn't even been blocked yet, but see how nicely it shapes up already? I think this is a major improvement over my earlier attempt, which needed severe blocking with pins and fabric stiffener to force it into shape.
What I did differently was use some "node stitch", which is elaborated on (in terms that definitely read like rocket science!) in a book by Elgiva Nicholls, Tatting Techniques, published in 1976. Actually, node stitch is very simple - 2 first halves of a double stitch, followed by 2 second halves. Victorian sets are made the same way, but usually with more halves per set - for example, 4 first halves followed by 4 second halves, and so on.
I have the "mathematical formula" worked out for this, but so far it's just scribbled on scrap paper. I do intend to include the complete instructions in my next book.