A cable is often seperated by stitches that look different than the cable itself.
So cables look great on rev. st st.
You can try to place the same cable on st st - but it will mellow out on the st st and not be as outstanding. That is ok for some patterns and destroys others. Sometimes that is even needed.
Get used to cables, then mess around
Cable needles are often secured against stitches escaping. That may be the reason for groves? I do not know these needles, though.