The resources I used for this sweater were Knitting Without Tears, Big Girl Knits, and Sweater Design in Plain English. Vogue Knitting has yoke sweater general directions as well, and Designing Knitwear is a great resource for doing the math on many types of garment construction. I've heard that people love Knitting From the Top for top-down construction, but I haven't tried it. The cherry motif was inspired by one in the Knitting [insert preposition here] the Edge series, but I heavily edited it for size and to decrease the length of floats. I drew the others myself. Yay knitter's graph paper!
Here's an explanation of the jogless join I used.
It's called Aunt Jean's Invisible Jog, and it's from an issue of Vogue Knitting (or so other bloggers say).
And a word about color dominance- I knit colorwork two-handed, with the background in the right hand and the motif in the left hand. For me, that makes the motif pop and the background recede. Your mileage may vary.
I'm making the instructions I used available to illustrate how the construction works, but the numbers are only in my size. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d962qkr_0gvm75pcn
I encourage you to make your own custom-fit sweaters. It's super-rewarding!
The main issues to consider are size, ease, and method of construction. Take good measurements of yourself, then think about what size and types of sweater you like to wear. You may prefer looser or tighter garments (more or less ease), and you may know that you like raglans, or yoked sweaters, or something else. I chose a yoke for this sweater to show off the stranded colorwork, and because the shaping looked easy. Sweater Design in Plain English has some information on what styles look best on different body types if you need help deciding. After you choose a basic style, you need to consider if additional shaping needs to be added to the general recipe you're working from. In this case, I added waist shaping and short-row bust darts to the generic yoke sweater format.
I'm going to skim over yarn choice, but it can be a hassle. The big things to think about there are drape and weight. You can't go wrong with Cascade 220 for these basic sweaters, though.
Then *all* you have to do is swatch, measure gauge, and do all the math, using your reference books as a guide. Actually that was the easy part for me. Having the overall design floating around in my head for months and trying to figure out how to execute it was the hard part. But, I've just told you about all the good resources out there, so don't be afraid to try! After all, this was my first sweater, so you can do it too. I'm looking at you, Nicki! Whatever happened to your top-down raglan?