ok, steps for making this sweater:
1. read the tutorial on top down raglan sweaters and takes notes of the percentages required.
2. do a swatch in the intended yarn and count stitches and rows
3. take measurements: round your arm, round your chest, round the belly, length of shoulder to under boob, width across shoulders, from neck to armpit
4. check your notes again, get out the calculator and figure out how many stiches to CO, how many to increase, and how to work the increases. also work out (based on your lace pattern and your belly circumference) how many stitches you want for the body, so the lace pattern repeat works and the size is right. you might need to decrease stitches at the transition.
generally speaking, you should be looking to do raglan increases on every second round. you can stretch this a bit as you get closer to the armpit - you might need more length but already have enough/almost enough stiches for your chest size. simply knit straight or change the increase regime to every 4th round or so.
for the increases, i wanted a holey raglan increase, to go with the feel of the lace sweater, so my raglan increase would read knit to last but one stitch before marker, *yo, knit last stich before marker, slip marker, knit first stitch after marker, yo*
the marker was thus in between the two straight stitches, symmetrical about the marker. this went for all four increases per round. on the following round, you knit all stitches. don't knit the yo's twisted - they will turn into a lacey hole if knitted straight as they come.
for the neckline, as previously described, i simply CO the number of stitches minus an inch's worth of stitches at the front, knitted for about an inch whilst doing raglan increases, the CO the remaining stitches and joining to knit in the round.
knit until you have enough to meet under your armpits.
divide the work (put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn), join the body stitches and continue working in the round. i kept trying on the work to ensure a good fit throughout.
once you have gone past the boob, determine whether you need to decrease your stitches for the body - this would be advisable if you have a large chest and a tiny waist. i am pretty flat-ish so didn't decrease, as the lace pattern i chose forms lose ribbing and hence tightens the body tube slightly anyways.
i used an edging - one round of *k2tog, yo* followed by a plain knit round - this gives a holey edge just before your lace pattern starts. if you needed to decrease, you could replace the *k2tog* with a *sl1, k2tog, pull slipped stitch over* - this will effectively decrease your number of stitches by one every time you do this (when combined with the yo). if you have 80 stitches before, and needed to decrease 8 stitches, you would do this every 5th repeat, i.e. so *k2tog, yo* four times, then do *sl1, k2tog, ssl, yo* once.
after the holey transition rows, i then started in lace pattern. follow the pattern - i find this quite easy but some people have trouble with lace, so i would recommend inserting life lines after every full repeat just in case. www.knittinghelp.co m
has tutorials on how to do lifelines.
i then knit until the body was the length i wanted, again frequently trying the sweater on.
bind off (or do an edging of your choice, then bind off)
pick up sleeve stitches and work in the round, plain knit, until you have knitted the same distance from armpit to transition row as on the body. do the transition row, switch to lace (again having checked that your stitch number will work with the lace pattern!!). knit lace pattern until you like the length.
bind off, but dont cut the yarn. use a crochet hook to crochet one round around the sleeve, in the following manner: crochet one single stitch, make two loops, insert crochet hook into the next but one stitch (skipping one stitch basically) and make a simple crochet stitch. you are basically making little arches all around the sleeve.
if you want a different type of finish, go for it. you could do a couple of rounds of a knitted ribbed pattern instead.
at the end, pick up stitches around the neckline, starting and finishing at the gap in the front, knit a rib pattern, decrease for the raglan lines, but increase with *yo, knit, yo* on the external corners of the gap that you are knitting out off, knit stitches as they appear on the return row. this is not knitted in the round, but open. knit about an inch or so, bind off, and sew the two short edges into the gap so they overlap.
hope the above is clear. don't hesitate to jump in after reading the tutorial i linked to in the first post - it's actually not scary designing your own sweater! just a little bit of measuring, counting and calculating to do - but all easy enough!