Over 20 years ago I knit several top down cardigans made from a Candide pattern (here's a lighter version of that top down knit in Ravelry- Ravelry- Candide Lightweight Classic Raglan Cardigan) and I loved it. As a newbie sweater knitter it worked for me and the pattern made for some favorite sweaters. One I wore all the time and I believe is stashed in an old Saratoga trunk that was my great Grandmother's.
The other I gave to an elderly woman I was helping. I think she really liked it. That pattern I believe I found when we were moving, and stuffed in one of my knitting storage boxes. It's weird to see something of mine aged, frayed and ripped and worn, as if it was a relic from a long ago past.
So I just started my "Big Hug" Cropped Cardigan and I'm loving it. Yes, I made adjustments so it'll be a bit bigger for me. So will I be ripping out in the future? Hopefully not, but I'm having fun and learning!
I'm doing the cardigan up in a cheap yarn by Lion's called Hometown USA in a beautiful blue (Walmart) and it's soft. Acrylic won't wear as well as wool, but I find wool scratchy unless you spend a fortune on good quality yarn. But it makes a good yarn to play with and I like the results.
The yarn has a nice sheen and the stitches are well defined with it. It is going up fast.
So I have found some interesting sites on knitting a cardigan or sweater top-down and I thought they would be worth exploring. It's definitely a technique worth mastering and once you do you can create your own design of sweater.
Links to tutorials or articles about top down knitting-
Tin Can Knits- Sweater Techniques Series – Gramps Baby Cardigan – 4 / 6 : Top-Down Sweater Construction – Body and Arms
The Incredible, Custom-fit Raglan Sweater (a real thorough open ended pattern with charts on measurements and stitches calculated for a custom fit)
More Reading on Top-Down Knitting- Craftsy- Take It From The Top: Top Down Knitting