I think I know what’s going on. When you knit one side, then turn the work and knit your way back (and repeat), you create garter stitch. Garter stitch has ridges that look like purling.
It sounds like what you are trying to create is stockinette stitch. To get stockinette stitch, which looks like “V’s” on one side, and ridges on the back, you knit one row, then turn and purl the other side, and repeat, alternating knit and purl rows.
I’ll have a video showing the difference between stockinette and garter stitches, and how to get them, up late tonight, or sometime tomorrow.