First, have you looked at Amy's videos? They should help majorly. As for the cable needle, I generally find I don't have to hold it. I put my yarn on and let it hang--doesn't get in the way at all.
What style do you knit? I understand purl in continental can be a bit awkward, but I knit English, so I can't say for sure what you could do differently.
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
IngridKH on Ravelry