Cabled knit hat - stitches too tight

I knitted my first project using a cable stitch (hat) and it seemed to be turning out just fine until I got to the end when it was much smaller than it was supposed to be. I felt like the cable stitches were very tight and I’m wondering if I used the too much tension. Would using a regular same size needle to hold the cable stitches be better than using the cable needle? Is there a “trick” to keeping the tension loose on those stitches. Any assistance would be much appreciated as this is a Christmas gift (I unravelled the hat so I can try again).

I use a cable needle for all cables. I personally think your tension became too tight because you were tense and/or tired. I’ve had that happen to me. I start a project out with GREAT TENSION but sometimes my tension gets too tight as I knit along. In those cases, I usually start over and use a larger needle from jumpstreet.

In your case, you could either: a) keep strict watch on how tightly you’re wrapping your yarn at the affected area of the hat, or, b) change to a larger needle (1 size up) and knit normally. The larger needle will compensate for you.

Thanks for the advice-keeping the tension loose helped and the finished hat is closer to the pattern description.