HOURS?! I’d say more like weeks:zombie: . So here are my ideas. . .
What is it that you like about the sweaters? It seems that both have these huge cowl necks, a horizontal cable across the bust, and short sleeves, and pattern in the apron. Which aspects would you be willing to give up? The issue is that the 2 patterns in the book Jan recommended each have elements of the design. The Romy is a lot of horizontal cables, and the Frances is much more like the original sweaters, but without that cabled feature. Since your mother is not used to designing and/or making patterns, it means that you would need to either go with one of those sweaters, or find one more exactly a match. The problem is that I don’t know how to do that. Jan is pretty magical at finding things, and I don’t know how she does it! I wouldn’t know how to search the main free pattern sites, which are garn studios and www.knittingpatterncentral.com for those specifics. There is also a free site, but you have to sign up, called www.ravelry.com. If you look on there and search through the patterns, with whatever key words (cowl? short sleeves? cable?) you might find something. Another great site is www.patternfish.com, but again, you’re talking about searching through a lot of patterns and coming up with the right key words. The other option is that you learn how to knit! It’s kind of crazy to start on the Debbie Bliss Frances pattern, but what the heck! You’d learn just about everything to know about knitting (except multi-colour work) in one shot.