Recently, I came across a pattern for Wash's Sweater, as seen on the tv series Firefly.
I liked the cables but wanted the Serenity cable row repeat to be shorter (since I didn't want a sweater as long as the original would produce).
After quite a bit of thought, I started with a lattice cable like the one on the right (using the Open Office equivalent to Excel).
Then I took out sections of cabling to get the heart-shaped sections in the second chart. This is the chart I'm going to use for the sweater.
In both charts, the 6-space-wide sections represent 6-st-wide cables -- either knit 3 over purl 3, knit 3 over knit 3, purl 3 under knit 3, or knit 3 under knit 3. The 4-space-wide sections beginning and ending with a slash (or backslash) are 4-st-wide cables -- either knit 3 over a purl 1 or purl 1 under knit 3.
Edited (a few days later): The sweater looks better with the middle six knit sts of Rows 17, 18, and 49 of the second chart replaced by purl sts.
Finally, here is a chart for the sleeves. As before, the slashes indicate cables. I've shown only the center top of the sleeve plus one side of the sleeve -- and only as far as when the sleeve sts are to be put on a holder for use when finishing the sleeve. The circles show where increases are made. (They're more like lifted increases than yo's. They are finished in the next row by being worked twisted.) And, as before, the middle six knit sts of Rows 17, 18, and 49 of the chart look better when replaced by purl sts.