Here’s One Free Knitting Pattern to Help Keep Your Home Warm

Knit yourself a blocker for the draftiest door in your home, and then make it cute with embellishments!

Draft blocker knitting pattern

Is it cold where you are right now?

In certain parts of the world, it’s pretty chilly right about now. Even in Oklahoma in the United States–not exactly known for its cold weather–it can get pretty cold in the winter.

And often in the winter, you find out just how many drafty doors you have in your home. Fortunately, if you love to knit and have some wool yarn in your house, you can create the perfect solution. Knit yourself a draft blocker!

How to Create a Draft Blocker

Materials you’ll need

  • A skein or two of wool yarn
    Try Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Bulky
    or Tuff Puff
  • Straight Needles for flat knitting; circular needles for knitting in the round
    I love Knitters Pride needles! You can find them at Lion Brand or on Amazon
  • White Rice
    You can find it for a great price on Amazon
  • Felt (optional)
    You can find great prices for felt sheets on Etsy!
  • Wiggle Eyes (optional)
    You can find great prices for Wiggle Eyes on Etsy!

Gauge is, fortunately, not a worry with this pattern. Choose the right needles for your yarn and you’ll be golden.

You can knit this pattern either flat or in the round. You’ll see directions for both in the pattern below.

1. To start, cast on as many stitches as you think you’ll need, depending on the yarn you’re using. If you’re using worsted weight yarn, for instance, you might want to cast on about 46 stitches. If you’re using a heavier yarn, you could cast on 36 or 40.

Remember that you’ll be felting this project once you’ve finished knitting it, so you’ll want to knit it twice the size that you want the finished product to be. If you’re unsure, I suggest you go bigger!

2. If you’re knitting in the round: Join the beginning and end of your cast-on together, being careful not to twist your stitches.

If you’re knitting flat, turn your work.

3. For circular knitting: Knit in stockinette stitch (that is, every round) until you have a tube that is approximately six inches longer than the doorway you plan to block.

For flat knitting: Knit in stockinette stitch (that is, knit 1 row, purl the next, and continue to alternate between knit and purl rows) until your knitted fabric measures approximately 6 inches longer than the doorway you plan to block from the cast-on edge.

4. For circular knitting: Use Kitchener stitch to graft the end closed. (Need a refresher? Check out this fabulous Kitchener tutorial from Very Pink Knits.)

For flat knitting: Cast off in whatever way is easiest for you. Seam the cast-off edge and the length of the fabric, leaving the cast-on edge open.

5. Now, it’s time for felting! Pop your knitted tube into a washing machine and wash in the hottest setting possible. If you’re new to felting, Purl Together has a fantastic felting tutorial that will help you tremendously. (And if you don’t have a washing machine, she shows you how to felt in a bucket of hot water, too!)

You can either air-dry your felted tube or pop it into the drying machine if you have one.

6. Once the tube is dry, it’s time to fill it as full as you can with rice. Why rice? Rice makes your blocker nice and heavy to hold it in place by the bottom of your door. It also fills out the blocker so it actually does the job of keeping drafts out of your home.

(And as a bonus, if you ever need a makeshift weapon, your blocker will probably do the trick in a pinch! 😆)

7. Now that your tube is full of rice, it’s time to stitch the top closed. You can use the same yarn you knitted with to close the open end. Or, you can use the strongest thread you have with a needle and have at it.

Make It Cute

Of course, you don’t actually need to make your draft blocker cute. If you’re happy with it as-is, plunk it next to your drafty door and enjoy keeping the heat in your home (and your lower energy bills).

Or, you can get decorating!

Be creative! You can make it into a snake, a bunny rabbit, a dog, a cat, or really just about anything. Use some felt, some google eyes, some cotton balls or cotton batting, and whatever else you want to give your draft blocker character!

(I highly recommend hopping on Pinterest and doing a search for “Cute draft stopper DIY” if you want some ideas. Beware of that rabbit hole, though…)

Not only is a knitted draft blocker a great way to keep your own home warmer, it makes a great gift, too. Why not offer it as a birthday gift for someone with a wintertime birthday or as a wedding or graduation gift?

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6 Comments

  1. Would pea-size gravel work? I would be worried about mice getting into the rice as I plan to use the stopper in the garage where the wind howls through the gaps under the garage door.
    Thanks for providing this pattern idea! I have a sewn draft stopper that my mother made (about 25 years ago) from a quilted fabric (poplin, fiber batting, nylon mess inside). I filled it with small rocks as I had it at college for a drafty first floor apartment. She sewed it and I took it to college then found some gravel to put in it. It’s kind of “floppy” since it was never tightly packed, but the weight holds it in place.

    1. Hi Nancy!

      I imagine pea-sized gravel would probably work, although if you filled an entire tube with this, it could get extremely heavy! I imagine that if you filled it the same way you filled the one your mother made, it should work fine.

      Thanks for a great idea!

  2. Since it’s knitted with bulky yarn, would the rice inside slip out through the stitches? Or the felting process will prevent it?

    1. Lee, the felting process should prevent any rice falling out–that’s the purpose of felting it. You also don’t have to use bulky yarn; you could use a thinner yarn if you’d prefer. (My preference is bulky simply so it knits up more quickly!)

      You could use needles that are slightly smaller than what’s called for on your yarn label, too, if you want to be doubly sure that the rice stays inside the tube.

      Hope that helps!

  3. These work so well! And what a wonderful (and very useful) way to brighten up your home during dreary winter months. Perfect for using up those leftover scrap yarns from Christmas presents, for practicing various Fairisle patterns, or just adding a rainbow of colors in an unexpected place. For visual ideas on how to make your draft logs cuter, just do a google search of “door draft stopper patterns” for a great variety of inspirations that can be very easily applied to Nicole’s basic patterns above. Since I spin many of my own yarns using a traditional Ashford spinning wheel, which is kept in my living room, my living room has a “sheep in the pasture” theme, so I made my front door draft stopper log to look like a row of sheep.

    The only addition I made was to put magnets in the back of the draft log so it would stick to the door and move when the door moved. If your door isn’t steel, then Velcro strips will work, too.

    Also, I use my draft stoppers year-round to keep the warm air inside during the cold months, the cool air inside during the hot months.

    Fun and easy to do, useful, beautiful, cheap (esp. if using up leftover bits of yarns you already have), and a great gift for anyone, this is definitely a 5-star idea! Thanks so much, Nicole!

    1. Thank you so much, Linny, for your kind words as well as your outstanding bits of inspiration and helpful additions! I especially love the idea to add either magnets or Velcro strips, depending on whether your door is steel or some other material. Thanks again!