Another very useful stitch for outlining is split stitch. This can be worked in two ways – splitting the thread of each stitch from the back as the needle comes up, or from the front as the needle goes down. The traditional method is to split as you come up from the back, and is the one I prefer and teach.
This stitch was very popular as a filling stitch in the 12th and 13th centuries in Britain, often stitched in silks to fill in the figures of opus anglicanum (English work) embroideries. Faces in particular were worked in fine spirals of split stitch of fine filament silk. Worked this way, this stitch takes on the appearance of very small chain stitches.
More modernly, this is the stitch used to outline a design before filling it in (stitching OVER the split stitch) in closely-worked buttonhole, satin stitch, or long and short stitch (all to come!).