I won the game of yarn chicken!
TPCT (a great pattern which had instructions for top-down, bottom up and tips for customizing - though not for making it a cardigan - I did that on my own).
All tolled, this little cardi took two weeks of not so steady knitting. A quick little knit with great results.
* I say 'mostly' successful, because sadly, it does not fit me. It's not the fault of the pattern - as you recall I've already knit one that fits great. I think the issues stem from the fact that the first one used handspun, which was a bit heavier than the Alley Cat, and on this one... I think I might have missed an increase row.
But all is not lost. It will definitely fit the lovely Samantha. It will find its way to her house very soon.