cables but they take more time than something like a 4X4 ribbed stitch. We (Stacy and myself) just needed the ribbed stitch. However, it isn't just for easy projects and it really is great depending on your desired goal. One of the things that makes the ribbed stitch work is its stretchiness and stitch definition. You can use a variety of yarns and show off variegated patterns, hand dyed or even solids. You can use a variety of weights and colors depending on your overall purpose. I am using some RedHeart Mystic that I got on sale last year when Joann's had their summer clearance on yarns. The hat is already finished and the scarf will be completed today. Sometimes you just need immediate gratification!