Fortunately for me, I’d already had plenty of ideas for working the Map of Amarna for the first of the background panels, and in fact, as soon as I decided to include it there was one section about which I was absolutely certain – the contour lines. I’ve worked them in Reverse Herringbone Stitch. The fabric between the lines is thus slightly raised – padded by the threads behind it. I got this far on the map quite some time ago and was very pleased with myself when it turned out Just As I Hoped.
Then I moved on to another section and found myself struggling. In the drawn map, the compass rose is indicated by three lines. When I tried that, it looked clunky and rather sad. So I returned to my stitch dictionaries, and looked for line stitches. Cable Chain Stitch was an obvious choice, as it has been a favourite of mine for years, and the outer ring is worked in Closed Feather Stitch. I used two Caron Collection threads in the same colourway here – a single strand of the heavy pearl cotton type which has three strands (Watercolours, I think it is called), and the much finer one, which I think is Wildflowers. It is interesting to watch the colour changes as they appear very different and have different emphases in the different threads.
I may yet decide to run a “shadow” to one side or the other of the arrow, using a simple stitch such as stem stitch, to throw the satin stitch into stronger relief, but for the moment I am happy that the flatter outer ring creates the illusion of a raised compass rose, while still being clearly something stitched.