A 1x1 cable is one st crossing in front of the other. You can do this with or without a cable needle but with the cable needle may be simpler to start. Slip the first st to a cable needle (or dpn or paperclip), knit the next st on the left needle, then knit the st from the holder. Whether you hold the st on the cable needle in front or in back of your knitting determines which way the cable crosses (in front, the cable crosses left; in back, the cable crosses right). It's the same directions at the start of a row or in the middle of the row.
Your pattern may well have an explanation either toward the top of the instructions or on a side bar for the k 1x1 cable.
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