Funny but I thought to reconsider what I wrote about those knots because it's not just a matter of going slower, that's putting it a bit simple, and what you write makes sense as well. Actually increasing the speed and force can give you a smooth finish around the knots but you just want to reduce the amount of wood you are taking off with those power chops.
I work up one side and come back the opposite direction on the other side. If you are working always in the same direction it means you're either ambidextrous, or you work from the same spot and flip the stem for each side. Which is it for you?