Here's the overall idea:
The sweater is a longish, heavily textured pullover, constructed from the top down, with a round yoke for maximum sizing flexibility. There will be a little waist shaping, and the strips of motifs/cables running down the body will be organized so that you can use both the underarm strip and the spaces between the other strips for shaping - again, giving a fair bit of leeway in terms of how aggressively you want to bring in the waist (if at all).
My own version is intended to be outerwear that is roomy enough to accomodate a variety of layering options, as I plan to be standing or strolling for hours at a time in weather that could vary from a few degrees above freezing to really really cold. Consequently, I'll be figuring in 6 inches or so of ease, but the design will work quite nicely with much less (though since it's fairly heavy yarn, I wouldn't suggest negative ease.)
Wool: Custom Woolen Mills mule spinner 3 ply - I would describe this as a heavy Aran weight. Yardage I am going to leave up to you to estimate, as it will vary considerably by size, length, ease, etc. Ann Budd's guide to yarn requirements is excellent; online, I often use this for a quick reference. I was pretty liberal with my calculations, especially as I plan to be doing lots of swatching.
Gauge: 4 stitches (SG) and 5.75 rows (RG) to the inch in stockinette. You don't have to match my gauge - I'll lay out the math so that you can calculate everything to your own gauge, but if you're not at least in the ballpark, the design features are going to look pretty different.
Needles: I'm using 5mm (US8) circulars in a variety of lengths - 16 inch to start, 32 inches and up as the circumference expands.
Let's get started!
Here's a rough schematic for the neck and yoke:
I've chosen a moderately roomy funnel neck that reaches to my jawline, and can be folded down as required - I wanted something that would keep the wind off my neck, with enough room to tuck a little cashmere cowl inside for extra warmth. You can easily substitute a crew neck if you wish.
Using a tubular cast-on, begin with a multiple of 8 stitches in 1x1 twisted rib. I used my head circumference (22 in.) x SG (4) to come up with the number of stitches for the funnel circumference (88).
The overall yoke design is a series of parallel waves of varying size that mimic the smooth curves of a downhill skier's fresh tracks and diverge as the yoke widens. The waves are created by moving the columns of twisted knit stitches left and right (ie. crossing a knit stitch over the adjacent purl stitch.)
I haven't written up a chart for the funnel portion, as I expect there will be considerable variation in heights. I will do one for the yoke, so as you ad lib the wave down the neck, ensure that it ends as the stitches are leaning left (looking towards the bottom of the sweater). Alternatively, a simple vertical 1x1 twisted rib will work just as well, particularly if you are creating a crew neck.
Next post: calculating and beginning the yoke.