If you're not familiar with top down knitting, it's a technique that starts at the top of a garment so you can try it on as you go. For sweaters and shirts, this means you knit from the neck line out to the shoulders, and then down the torso.
I'd been wanting to make a garment for myself for a long time, and something more ambitious than socks or a hat. I found this classic pattern at Tin Can Knits, which is straight knitting in the round with a wide purl stripe going down the arm. I re-imagined it as a light summer sweater, knitting in a linen cotton blend and shortening the sleeves. The sleeves were easy, just stop midway up the upper arm and work the ribbing.
The project was mostly a success. The only thing I would change is that I can see a join right in the middle of my torso. Next time, I'll use a Russian join instead of knotting. Knots are just extra clear in linen yarn, though I'm sure only experienced knitters would really notice. A friend of mine did say the linen color on top matched my skin too well so the shirt looks a little like a tube top at first glance, but I don't think that will stop me from wearing it.
I do plan to try other projects at Tin Can Knits. Their aesthetic is so timeless, and patterns are easy to follow. I've got my eye on the Lush Cardigan even thought I usually avoid buttonholes.