I use 1/1 cable crosses fairly frequently in my lace design. Sometimes they help me continue a decrease line where there isn't a corresponding increase. Other times they make a nice closure at the top or bottom of a motif. In any case, here's a brief guide about how I work them without a cable needle. I'm pretty sure the 1/1 right cross method is pretty standard (I think I learned it from Barbara Walker's books); I don't know about the 1/1 left cross.
(The featured photo shows a cable cross from Cunning.)
1/1 Right Cross:
In a cable with a right cross, the stitch or stitches on the left will be worked first, and are crossed in front of the stitch or stitches that were originally on the right.
This particular cable is 1/1 because there is one stitch crossing over one other stitch. It is called a right cross (or RC) because the stitch in front leans to the right: / . That is, the top of the stitch in front is at the right.
This stitch is fairly quick to work without a cable needle. Summary: pull the front leg of the second stitch across the surface of the first stitch, and knit it, without pulling it off the needle. Then knit the first stitch as usual, and then slide both of the crossed stitches off the left needle.
I am a tight knitter, so I add a little extra step to this.
1. Reach through the second stitch as if to purl, and tug on the stitch a bit so the loop reaches past the first stitch.
2. Press on this arrangement with my left thumb to hold it in place, then remove the needle. Insert needle in the loop to knit it without removing it from the left needle.
3. Knit the first stitch, and then remove both stitches from left needle.
Note; the instructions for the 1/1 RC assume that your stitches sit in this orientation by default:
And not this one:
Here's more about this. If your stitches look like the second picture, you'll need to adjust them before you can work the 1/1 right cross the way I do, or else use a different method for the RC.
1/1 Left Cross:
In a cable with a left cross, the stitch or stitches on the left will be worked first, and are crossed behind the stitch or stitches that were originally on the right.
This particular cable is 1/1 because there is one stitch crossing over one other stitch. It is called a left cross (or LC) because the stitch in front leans to the left: \ . That is, the top of the stitch in front is at the left.
I work this method by doing the first steps of an ssk: slip each of the next 2 stitches as if to knit. Then slip them together back to the left needle in that configuration. Reach behind the first stitch and knit the second through the back loop, without pulling it off the needle. Then knit the first stitch through the back loop.
Here's that with pictures:
Because the second stitch crosses behind the first stitch, it's easier to knit if its right leg is in back. This requires a quick reorientation.
1. Slip each of the next two stitches as if to knit. Here's how they look on the needle.
2. Slip them together back to the left needle in this configuration.
3. Reach behind the first stitch and knit the second through the loop that's easy to reach. Don't try to pull it off the needle yet.
4. Knit the first stitch through the back loop also, and slide both stitches off together.
Note; these instructions assume that your stitches sit in this orientation by default:
And not this one:
The 1/1 LC is actually easier for knitters whose stitches sit the second way; jump to step 3.