After committing a drive-by posting, I guess I owe some explanations about the things I claim to have "unvented".
Thing 1 - The weird pattern.
The "real" Vine Lace stitch goes like this:
Row 1 - k1, yo, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, yo
Row 2 - knit all (if in the round; purl if flat)
Row 3 - yo, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, yo, k1
Row 4 - same as Row 2
Well, because I am lazy and stubborn, I decided I didn't want to have to start or end with a yarnover on the needle. It's too haaaaaarrrrrd. (waah)
So I figured I would knit in the same pattern, just adjusting the whole thing over a couple stitches to avoid the starting/ending yos. Like this:
Round 1 - k1, k2tog, ssk, k2, yo, k1, yo, k1 (repeat 8 times)
Round 2 - knit all
Round 3 - k2tog, ssk, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2 (repeat 8 times)
Round 4 - knit all
After a while, I realized I wasn't getting the pretty lace ribs in a straight line down the cuff like I'd imagined. Instead, the whole pattern spiraled around as I went.
See the spiral? My camera tends to take blurry pictures, so bear with. (What is this "user error" you speak of? Also, "sunless tanner"?)
I debated for a while about whether to keep this going or to frog and start over. The thought of frogging was unbearable, given how long it took me to start, so I decided call it pretty and give it a name. Twisted Vine Lace. Please feel free to (nicely) correct me in the comments if this is a well-known stitch. I don't want to take credit away from someone who actually set out to invent this stitch!
(Sudden scary thought - how do I get this to spiral the other way for the second sock? Or do I decide to just not care?)
Thing 2 - The makeshift needle marker
No photo yet, sorry, but it's pretty self-explanatory. I'll try to take a pic when I do the second sock.
Usually, I just use the cast-on tail as my round marker when making socks. However, because the pattern was spiraling, it gradually moved the tail around as I went. So to mark my first needle in a round, I took a teeeeeeeeny hair rubber band in bright yellow, wrapped it around the non-working end of the working needle before I started a round. Then when I got back to that needle, I knew it was a new round and what pattern to do for the next round.
These rubber bands also make great stitch markers. They are easy to find, and cheap. Worth it even if you don't have little girls. Maybe if you have a kid with braces, you could use some of their bands instead (new ones, please. ew).
WARNING: Obligatory Cat Photo
And One More - Unintentionally Arty Version
I mean, really. What's a knitting blog without cat photos?