Knitting from the top down

Hi all! New to the group. I am seeking some help for sleeves on a sweater I am knitting for my daughter. The sweater is a pullover, with a hood. The sleeves are the set in kind, and I have not started on them yet. She is short, around 5 feet tall, or so. I am only 2 inches taller. I figured out that the smallest size would be way too long. It is straight up knitting until you shape for the armholes. Seeing how the model wearing the sweater is tall and lanky, I shortened the knitting on the front and the back of the sweater by two inches, sort of trying it on myself as I went along. Now, I have heard that you can also knit a garment from the top down. I thought the sleeves would be easier to “try” on myself if I knitted them this way. The pattern calls for casting off 5 stitches each side after you get to the top, to shape it to fit the armhole. So, if I were to knit it from the top down, I would actually be casting on 5 stitches on each side. Are there any real advantages to this? Also, since I plan on knitting the sleeves shorter, the pattern calls for increasing a stitch each side every 8th row. (from the bottom up) In order to keep the sleeve proportionate, should I just increase stitches like every 6th row? This is just regular stockinette, so the stitch pattern is not a problem. Or should I just abandon the top down thing, follow the directions as stated, and do them from the bottom up? Any help would be appreciated.

Here is an excellent site for creating a pattern for a top-down raglan sweater to suit your yarn, needles and size. I’ve used it and it worked out great.

Hi Deadringer!
I’m knitting a raglan sweater top-down too (…still). I “cast on” about 5cm at the armpit for the sleeves & it fits nicely. It’s a horizontal join for the set-in sleeves, instead of a rounded, “U” shape as for the usual fabric-piece style sleeves. I think it will fit the human body better, AND it will be easy to raise your arms above your head, without pulling the sweater.

For my sleeves, I knitted from the top down (armpit to wrist) and started decreasing after I reached the elbow. I think it’s personal preference though. I considered leaving the sleeves the same size all the way down, for a loose fit, or even increasing around the wrist for a bell-bottom look (or the equivalent terminology… for a sweater)!