Trouble with cables

I am having trouble with a pattern that I very much want to knit.
The pattern is in the book > Classic Elite 100 Gorgeous Designs for Every Occasion and is titled Color Block and Cable Cardigan by Dee Neer.

I understand how to knit the cables and have done so. My problem is that this pattern has more then 10 inches high on the bottom that are cables and the rest of the sweater is stockinette. I don’t want it to be tight around the hips. I am wondering how much these cables (there are 11 across the back and 10 across the front. no ribbing) will stretch when blocked. I am using Cascade 220 yarn. I have knit them twice now and keep ripping out because they look so tight even though I am knitting them as loose as I dare. Have tried larger needles but they don’t seem to help and the top part which is knit with size 7 needles look to small for the bottom.

I can get gauge with size 7 needles that the pattern call for. Can I use the size 7 needles for both top and bottom and have the cables block to the same size the pattern calls for? I need to stretch the cables an inch or more. :wall: This is driving me crazier than I already am!

The cables will block out a little but perhaps not enough. You could try knitting a swatch with 2 or 3 cables in it, measure it before blocking and then measure it after blocking to get an idea of how much ease you will get.
I would try knitting a swatch with size 7 needles for 3-4 inches and then switch to larger needles. If one size up didn’t help, go 2 sizes up. It’s going to be much more even and consistent than trying to knit loosely. One other thing to think about is adding some sts in between the cables and then decreasing across the last row before the stockinette.