A quick MROUND the block

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Since MOD and QUOTIENT went down well a few months ago, I’m back with another Excel formula for knitting: MROUND. This is a great one for setting and calculating pattern repeats.

MROUND has a lot of depth and conditions you can add onto the basic function I’ll discuss here. I’ll let you discover these for yourself! You may not need them, but it’s useful to know they’re there.

The formula

The format is: =MROUND(number, multiple)

number: the cell reference or number you want to round;

multiple: the value to which you want to round the number. This can be a cell reference or a number.

Example 1: Clean multiples

If we type in: =MROUND(17,4)

we get 16. 16 is the closest multiple of 4 to 17, so our calculation has given us 16.

If we’d typed in 18 instead of 17, MROUND would have returned 20. If the value is in the middle, the default is always to round up. You can override this manually if needed.

As all knitters know, where there’s a pattern repeat, there’s a multiple. To apply MROUND to a stitch pattern, you just need to identify the repeat multiple.

Example 2: Multiples with extras

Example 1 is all fine and dandy if you’re knitting in the round. If you’re knitting flat, there’ll usually by some stitches on either side of the repeat multiple to centre the pattern.

To illustrate, let’s say the multiple of 4 above pertains to seed stitch rib:

Row 1: K3, *p1, k3; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: K1, *p1, k3; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, k1.

To set this pattern symmetrically, we’d need to add 3 to the repeat multiple as per the instructions, because there are 3 stitches outside the repeated section between the asterisk and semicolon:


This returns a value of 19. 16 is still the nearest multiple of 4 to 17, so Excel has added 3 to that total.

Discretionary notes

Some of you will have noticed that 15 is also an acceptable figure; it’s two away from 17, just like 19 is. This is where you need to make your own decisions about what’s best! The software has done all it can for you; you’re the designer, so you’re in charge. Look at your project in context; if you have a range of sizes to grade, look at the figures yielded for the adjacent sizes.

You could also input -1 instead of +3, but it’s best practice (and best for your sanity) to input the formula in a more literal way. We knitters are more likely to understand extra stitches when reading pattern instructions, and it’s easier for you to transcribe. There are 3 stitches in addition to the repeat multiple; 3 stitches will be shown outside the box if you’re using a chart; so +3 makes more sense than -1.

Last words

I hope this was helpful. Let me know how you get on with using MROUND for your knitting patterns, and if you’d like any more tidbits from Excel.

A quick MROUND the block

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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.

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