Last night after finishing the worst of the tax stuff I celebrated by casting on a possibility for my accountant. It's black elann.com Baby Silk, 80% alpaca/20% silk. I used an old cable scarf (the tan one in the photo --Elizabeth, what did I call that scarf pattern?) as a model.
Long-tail cast on 54 with a 3.5 mm, then knit with a 3.25 mm, slipped edge stitch with a partner stitch to roll for each selvage. Increased 4 in the first row, within the 4 cables on the back, to decrease cable splay. Changed the pattern to be k6p6 with the cabling slightly staggered and on both sides because I don't care for the railroad track look on the reverse of the tan scarf. Yes, the size 16 yarn needle hanging from the swatch is my cable needle for this project; pinching two or three tiny, slippery, invisible black alpaca stitches is tricky, thus the needle. I move it up the scarf after completing a few inches since I prefer not to have it dangling from a long tail.
As I expected, the fabric is a bit too stiff. I don't want to go up a needle size because this yarn doesn't full and the stitches begin to distort when larger. I will rip and space the crossings further apart. I do like the positive/negative space effect from the contrast between the matte purl and the shiny knit columns, and I like the juxtaposition of the cable crosses against the figured shape of the reverse. It has nice cush in the hand. Off to the pond...