Cast on a few stitches, then knit one row, then purl one row, then knit one row and so forth.
If you end up with garter, ... well, that's a problem. Except if you're knitting in the round. When knitting in the round, you knit (or purl) every round to get stockinette. Doing knit one row, purl one row, in the round gives you garter
The ways of Yarn are inscrutable.
I'm NOT a "miss", I'm a lady!