For all you beginners like me, may I suggest using thicker yarn and larger needles to really learn the techniques, then the smaller yarn with smaller needles isn't so overwhelming. This was my first attempt at cable stitches and it turned out great. There are mistakes in this, but who can tell??? To me, it's all part of the learning process.
I also made a scarf for my mother before completing this project, just to learn the stitches as well. I had to try out my book of knitting patterns and not let it go unused.