It sounds like when you started knitting again, you were holding the needles in the back of the work, instead of the front of the work. In other words, the non-working needles were between you and your hands, whereas they should be on the other side of your hands. It's hard to describe, I should put this in a video. So in the end, even though the right side of the work was on the outside, you were knitting the inside of the work, the purl side!
To avoid this, just look at the stitches facing you on the left needle you're holding. They should be V's, the right side of the stockinette stitch, not the dashes of the purl stitch. If they are dashes, you need to turn the work around, and put that needle in the other hand.
Hope that helps.
KnittingHelp Queen Bee
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman