It doesn't matter how adept you are technically if the garment doesn't fit correctly. How much time you spent getting the colors and the patterning just right doesn't matter if the sweater shape doesn't flatter.
Sometimes we knitters get so entranced with the process that we forget the basics: unless you plan to leave the sweater on a manequin in your bedroom, there's simply no point in knitting it unless it fits you and flatters you.
This is a fraught subject, however; how can we figure out what looks good on us when we can't try it on before knitting it?
Well, two masters have recently written excellent books addressing this very subject. Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter covers the issue of garment shape for different figure types. She doesn't stop at the simplistic "apples should wear X and pears should wear Y". She walks through how to discover your body shape, how to measure and calculate ease, how to modify for specific fit issues. Twenty-one patterns demonstrate the effects of changes to garment length, necklines, motif placements, sleeves and such on different bodies, analyzing why they work (or not) for different people. I think this book should be on every knitter's shelf; even if you never intend to design your own garment Amy will help you see which published patterns are likely to work for you and which will let you down. No more sweaters stuffed in a closet!
I think that Sally Melville's Knitting Pattern Essentials is a good companion to Knit to Flatter. Sally is a marvel at analyzing garmet shapes for flattery, and her introduction includes excellent information on the subject that complements and expands on Amy Herzog's book. But the bulk of Knitting Pattern Essentials covers, in depth and accessibly, the HOW of creating a pattern that flatters--the book's subtitle is "Adapting and Drafting Knitting Patterns for Great Knitwear" after all. It's all here: shoulder shaping, sleeve alternatives, side shaping, hems, necklines.... Sally has done the knitting world a great service by writing this book! Once again, even if you intend to never design your own garment, you can benefit from learning how to adapt patterns to fit your body or your preferences.
Both authors maintain forcefully that you must knit sweaters in pieces in order to give them structure. I disagree with this absolutely (and will continue to until I am shown a sweater that requires side seams that doesn't also have a problem of drooping front and back--if you need a side seam, you've got an unstable knit fabric is my opinion). That aside, everyone can benefit from the information in these two books.
Things are proceding apace! Right now the oak flooring is being installed and I can't hear myself think....