Pulled thread is a traditional technique that takes the stitches you know and creates different results because you pull the thread tightly after every stitch. This brings threads together and makes holes in and between stitches bigger. I love this technique, but it requires good hand strength and strong thread (linen or pearl cotton) to work.
It makes glorious and exciting backgrounds.
The folks at Ndlepaint have an article about this technique with a stitch to get you started.