MOD and QUOTIENT: An Excel tip for knitwear design

Share this post or save it for later:

Some Excel nerdery for you today. I’m sharing two handy functions: MOD and QUOTIENT. This tip is very useful if you use Excel for knitwear design and grading. Strap in!

First, a quick summary of terms:

  • NUMERATOR = the number you want to divide by or share into smaller units;
  • DIVISOR = the number of smaller units you want the numerator to be divided by or shared into;
  • QUOTIENT = the amount of whole number or complete divisions generated by the numerator and divisor;
  • MOD = the whole number remainder following the quotient calculation.

MOD and QUOTIENT are handy for setting and arranging stitch repeats because they allow you to divide by whole numbers only. Below you can see I’m calculating an increase row for a transition from lacy leaf diamonds to double moss stitch. This calculation was needed for the Falling Leaves sweater. (Please click on the Excel image to enlarge it.)

Because the increases take place at regular intervals, you can consider them to be a pattern repeat. In this case I need to increase from 79 to 87 stitches, which is a difference of 8.


To work out the increase repeat, you input:


In this case, that is:


This gives me an answer of 9, so I have 9 stitches between my increases, and there are 8 stitches to increase in total.

Using MOD

To find the stitches remaining after the repeats have been calculated using QUOTIENT, you use the MOD function. This is input exactly as for the QUOTIENT function.



In this case I have 7 stitches left over after 9 full repeats.

Balancing the repeat

The final step is to distribute the stitches evenly so that the repeat is balanced. This is calculated by adding the repeat interval of 9 stitches to the remainder of 7 stitches, and dividing that total by 2. In this case:

9 + 7 = 16 ————–> 16 / 2 = 8

So my increase row for this size will read:

P8, m1, (p9, m1) 7 times, p8.

And that’s it (ha)! You can now set out your increases symmetrically, without having to resort to instructions like “increase X sts evenly across entire row”.

I hope you found this helpful – and if you have any other tips about MOD and QUOTIENT, please share them below. And Ko-Fi tips are always welcome 🙂

MOD and QUOTIENT: An Excel tip for knitwear design

Share this post or save it for later:

Natalie in Stitches

I design for confident knitters who are keen on getting their garments to fit well. My catalogue includes knitting patterns for lace sweaters, cable sweaters, shawls, cowls, and the occasional scarf. These designs are ideal for building or curating an inspiring wardrobe. I am also a qualified teacher and share my favourite tips, tricks and techniques on my blog, where you can also find advice on garment fitting, alterations, knitwear design and sewing pattern reviews. Courses are also coming soon - sign up to my newsletter for updates.

One thought on “MOD and QUOTIENT: An Excel tip for knitwear design

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: