I have just recently discovered cables. I have to admit I was afraid of cables for whatever irrational reason you can think of. The fact is that cables require patience, but they are not really difficult. It takes some practice and you can check out some tutorials here and here.
In order to practice my cables, I made first a hat for the husband and then one for myself. His hat is made with bulky yarn and mine with worsted. They both rely on 6 stitch cables that are worked differently for a different pattern. I found it good practice to make both hats and thus try several ways of cabling 6 stitches. The result is quite different!
His hat has 6 stitch cables that are knit quite close together and make for a very squishy hat. By that I mean, your hat will appear to be too small to fit an adult head, but will fit your very large husband’s head perfectly well. The Close cables hat by Pickles is a treat to wear and a free pattern. I would recommend you knit very loosely on this one, as it uses size 5 mm needles and bulky yarn, plus cabling, so things are a bit tight. I found it rough on my hands. Some ravelry users complain it requires more yarn than Pickles recommends, but I used all of one skein of Madelinetosh chunky in Jade. I had a few yards to spare.
Mine is the Sand Bank pattern from Justyna Lorkowska. I am in love with this hat. The yarn is Madelinetosh 80/10/10, which was her special for black Friday. Very few skeins of this yarn were dyed, so I had to put it to good use with a pattern that really enhances the tonality of the yarn. The hat is soft and squishy and it has just the perfect length. I love how well defined the offset cables are all throughout the hat, including at the decreases. It’s a very well thought out pattern and I really recommend it as extra practice for your cables!
Nobody paid me to say any of this, I didn’t receive a compensation or a free pattern. All of the opinions are mine and I really highly recommend you try the patterns if you are a beginner or even completely new to cables! Enjoy!