Thank you everyone for the suggestions!
It has been one month since my original post, and I shudder to think of the hours I have spent looking for my dream sweater. I really think I've seen it all, and all the internet searching has made my wrists ache so much, it is now hard to knit.
Problem is, everything is ALMOST ok. In particular, I've seen several sleevless tanks that could work, but I want sleeves.
I'm a new, but decent knitter, and I have a somewhat mathematical brain. So I should maybe be able to create this myself? I think? I've been studying EZ's percentages system in the hopes that I can create a top down, seamless or nearly seamless sweater (After one too many asymmetrical armpits, et al. I never want to seam another seater).
How I wish I had a warm body here who could help me with a few details. I'm dreading starting this project b/c of course I won't get it right on the first try (I've spent the last couple days trying to design a frilly "pi poncho" for a friend, and I had to restart 4 times due to math or measurement errors. On just a poncho.)
When one ventures into the land of sweater invention, should one make a teeny version first, to see if the design works? Or will I just have to spend weeks on it, only to find that it doesn't hang right, etc.? Is there a procedure to make this any easier?
My "dream sweater" can't be that hard. For the empire waist part, I'd be happy with simply changing to a vertical stitch for that part of the body (cables? sideways garter? anything!). That would create a visual change (I don't want elastic or drawstring). Then for that "vertical" portions, I'd like it to swing out a bit, trapeze style. But I don't know how to plan the increases (tho I think EZ has some discussions about increase rates).
So I could go top down, with a horizontally oriented yoke. Cap sleeves would be great, and a long sleeve version too. After the chest zone (once past "the girls"), I could go with a vertical pattern. Not sure if I can do this seamlessly. I did a hat with a wide band of vertical garter stitch which involved casting on about 14 new stitches. But that might not work for a sweater--too many stitches.
Ok, I think I'm babbling now. Maybe I should do a new thread...
Thank you again!
Back to the pi poncho!