Here's my second attempt at a reply, hoping my computer doesn't crash again...
With a top down raglan or pullover you would check the fit before you divide the sleeve sts. The front and back raglan increase lines should not quite meet, maybe an inch or so gap. Then you CO 2" worth of stitches enough to get your finished measurement. If your yoke is too short but you have enough stitches, work a few more rows without increases. You can dec stitches at the underarm right away if you have too many sts for the sleeves.
As to the 'finished measurement' many people do make too large a size, so you should measure something that fits the way you'd like and use those measurements, rather than what you think you need. If you're busty, working a pullover with 2-4" of negative ease will keep it from being too large; if you use the size for your full bust measurement it could be too boxy elsewhere. With negative ease (less than your body measurement) it will stretch lightly over the bust, but pull in at the waist, even if you don't do waist shaping.
I don't use lifelines, they're too fiddley. What I do if I need to rip back is to go back to the row beyond where I want to start again, then with the yarn at the end of a RS row (or end of a round if working in the round) take a smaller needle and while pulling out the last row stitch by stitch, put them on the needle. It's easier to get the needle in that way - it's smaller and you pick up the sts as you rip/tink back. Stitches don't drop as easily as people think, the live edge needs to be stretched out a lot for them to do so. If one does escape down a row or two, just put it on the needle and fix it when you get to it. You can also use a size 1 or 2 or other tiny needle and thread it through the row you want to rip back to, or thread the lifeline (with thin yarn or floss) through the stitches before you take it off the needles.
You don't need to worry about blocking in the round either. Most things just need to be washed and laid flat to dry. No stretching or pinning needed, just wash and dry. That can even out the sts and will relax them. For acrylics or blends, wash and dry in the dryer. You can knit a sample first and wash and dry it to see how the yarn acts when its wet and that should tell you what the finished item will do too.
sue- knitting heretic
Last edited by suzeeq : 02-08-2013 at 11:51 PM.