I started knitting last year and the Irish Hiking Scarf was my very first cable project (really one of the very first things I knitted!). I learned so much making it and am now halfway through my second one!
Seemed like very slow going when I was making the first one, now things are moving very fast since I now know how to hold the yarn right, etc.
Even though the IHS was one of my first projects, it came out beautiful!
Have fun with it and good luck...your friends will be impressed ("OOOOoo...it's SO intricate", I heard that today), but it's really pretty simple...I love it!