DEAR GOD! Do you know what this means?!? You have to learn the arcane art of altering paterns.
Please please please read this and understand that I am in NO WAY being sarcastic or snarky... I've got a big grin on my face.
After sitting down and thinking about it because someone on this forum asked, I figured I've been knitting off and on some 20 years. I consider myself an advanced knitter.
This has nothing to do with how long I've been knitting however; it has to do with the fact that I'm crazy adventerous. I will knit swathes and practice patterns. I will dare to rip out stitches. I will madly alter paterns with total fearlessness... Because, what have I got to loose?
A few hours? Meh. I've got many hours left on this earth to knit, and knit cool shit.
I say this because the patterns for beautiful things designed for the "athletic build" are completely viable for anyone. With a gage swatch, a pencil and paper, and a calculator, that is.
All it takes to become a bad-ass knitter who can make things that fit and are beautiful is the willingness to make TERRIBLE errors with glee and learn from those mistakes, to try new things, and to throw a few hours into making an attempt which only might be successful.
I suggest you buy the books because they are beautiful, inspiring, and contain fantastic patterns and pictures - then I suggest you wildly alter the paterns to fit your every whim, desire, and bodacious curve.
I refer you to Stitch and Bitch Nation. The whole first part of the book is dedicated to step by step instructions on how to alter paterns, including clear and easy explanations of the math which scares most of us.
I have also come across books that are all about designing paterns; getting one of these might help you understand what goes into the makings of patterns so you can understand them and then deconstruct them to fit your needs.
I recently made a sweater that is awaiting enough still hours to finish. I bought yarn, made a gage swatch, then started knitting away. I used the patterns from 3 different sweaters I found in books to figure out the measurments, techniques, and directions - even though not a sinlge one of them was designed for the gage I was knitting for or had sizes I needed. When I "finished" the neckline, I found I had made some CATACLISMIC mistake in my figuring.... I ripped a bunch of stitchs after finding that the neckline gaped open like the hungry maw of some strange, wool-blend, hungry baby bird. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I'll figure something out. It may be a roll neck, I may add that hood I was thinking of in the first place. Who knows?
After all, all I've got to loose is a couple of hours, and all I've got to gain is a beautiful sweater I'll love wearing.
Point being? Buy the pattern. Love the pattern. Ditch the directions and make the pattern yours.