I checked out some info on the origin of this stitch and found some interesting facts. Apparently this form if stitching appeared as early as the mid to late 19th century..
Other authors show a knot stitch with only a single loop around the needle. Pamela Claburn decribes this as "a stitch resembling french knots and often mistaken for them," but says that, "The chinese knot is flatter, more shapely and not so twisted. In Chinese embroideries it is seldom used as an isolated stitch but is generally massed together, often covering large areas."
Among actual Chinese embroideries, it is unusual to find the knots so widely spaced or scattered as in the drawing. The spacing is dependent upon the length of the connecting stitch on the under side of the fabric. Each knot is indeed separate, however, and this distinguishes the stitch most clearly from the Pekinese Stitch shown later on this page. The example below represents the kind of knot stitch most often found in extant late 19th century Han Chinese costumes-- looped once around the needle, fairly flat and closed, worked in rows that are combined to fill sizeable areas.
These images below resemble mine very closely.