|Sweater back panel|
It's still just the basic top-down construction I've used for years, with the added doodling of the pattern stitches. It can sound complicated, but lots of things do when they get spelled out.
Choosing the stitch, make a foundation row, beginning and ending with a double increase, with each increase adding enough stitches for a 90-degree corner. The same number of stitches get added consistently for the whole yoke, creating visual seamlines.
Count the number of stitches between the increases, for the back neck - that is how many stitches to add later for the neck front shaping. For saddle shoulders, increase to the sleeves and back until the two sleeve saddles are together as wide as the original back neck. Then increase to the fronts and back until the back reaches the across-back measurement. The fronts will have to reach that, too, which it will a few rows later.
Join for a pullover or continue with separate fronts for a cardigan. There's a lot of AT THE SAME TIME going on here, which I happen to like. Every time one desired measurement target is reached, adjust the direction of the increases to reach the next target measurement. Increases continue as set, being allocated to fronts, back, or sleeves, as appropriate, creating whatever visual line you want. Once the yoke is finished, there is a decent gauge swatch right there to figure out how many rows and decreases to work for the sleeves.
With sweaters for children, I often do stripes for the yoke, switch to a pattern stitch in one color for the body, and do some other variation for the sleeves.
Samples of all this are on my project page on ravelry.com.