Actually -- here was my process....I cast on 24 sts and started working 2x2 ribbing for a few inches. Just like a sock. :D Then I looked on the Internet until I found a pattern that called for 24 sts.
Actually, this one called for 25, so I increased one on my first stockinette row. :D Since I already had ribbing, I just followed the instructions from after it tells you to knit the 5 straight stockinette rows. (sort of.
) I just followed the instructions as written, but knitting the "purl" rows.