I don't have the book so I can't say for sure. But it sounds like they want you to make the cable using a method of cabling without a cable needle.
One method of cabling w/out a cable needle has you slide off the 2-3-however many stitches, sort of hold them so they don't unravel, then knit the next 2-3-however many, then slide the first 2-3 stitches back on the left needle and knit them. Cable crossed. If you're not comfortable making cables w/out a cable needle, you can certainly use a cable needle.