People warn against using anything but the simplest of yarns for cable motifs. The more challenging the twists and turns in our pattern, the more solid your yarn’s color and texture should be—the idea being that the pattern itself needs to take center stage, with the least distracting yarn possible. This might explain why Luise O’Neill’s Ballyfaron tam and cowl set piqued my interest.

While Luise used a pleasantly smooth, worsted-spun, multiple-ply yarn (Madelinetosh DK) for the sample, she chose a surprisingly busy semisolid color. I wanted to see how the gorgeous cable motifs in her pattern would work up in something smoother and cleaner.