Breda’s Cowl

I am so very thrilled that my crochet pattern, Breda’s Cowl, is featured on Martha Stewart’s craft blog, The Crafts Department, today! I love collaborating with my friends, Kate and Courtney, of Kelbourne Woolens, and being able to take part in this project has just been amazing.

Road to China Light is, without question, one of my favorite yarns (they’re not even paying me to say that, promise). My New Year’s Eve was fantastic this year, and my idea of fantastic involves great friends, great food, dancing all night and maybe a glass or two of wine. To balance it out, my New Year’s Day was spent cozy on the couch, watching Gone with the Wind and double crocheting, round and round.

And can I just take this opportunity to say that I am completely Team Melanie? Scarlett has nothing on her.

So! I was incredibly happy when Kate and Courtney wanted the pattern and completely ecstatic when I heard it would be featured.

The name of the pattern, Breda’s Cowl, is something a little extra special to me. Breda is a form of the Gaelic name, Brid, from which the name Brigid is also derived. St. Brigid’s Day is an important Irish feast day which marks the beginning of Spring and the coming of warmer days, something we’re definitely looking forward to around here.

Breda is also the name of my great-aunt. She’s an incredibly inspiring woman who raised 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls, on a dairy farm, which she ran with her husband, my great-uncle, in Ireland. She’s a force to be reckoned with, capable and strong, with an endless supply of stories that will entertain you for hours. She can produce dinner for a dozen unexpected guests in ten minutes or less. She is also incredibly kind and thoughtful, and reminds me so much of my lovely grandmother, her sister. They are cut from the same cloth, and everyone who has met them knows how truly remarkable and special they are. I was reminded of this when I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Ireland this past summer.

I love this picture so much. From left to right are my second cousin, Emily; Breda; my mom and me.  These are the women I look up to, the ones I aspire to be like. If I am half the woman Breda is, if I am loved and respected by my friends and family as she is, I will considered my life to be truly well lived.

The day of our photoshoot for the pattern was such a gorgeous day. It snowed some yesterday, but the pictures are proof that it will be warm again soon, and I can’t wait. For your viewing pleasure and my amusement, here are some outtakes of my better faces caught on camera:

Also, one last thing of note. Although it didn’t make it into the pattern pictures, I totally matched my shoes to the cowl. See?

I thought Martha would approve.

I hope you enjoy making the cowl as much as I did! You can find the free pattern here, and be sure to check out the Kelbourne blog for more behind-the-scenes outtakes.



  1. Ahh! I love this and the outtakes! Congratulations! But really, team Melanie? Team Scarlet all the way.

    1. Thank you!

      But, seriously, Scarlett’s biggest flaw and the reason she is never happy is that she views kindness as a weakness. When sick Melanie comes charging out of the bedroom with the sword? Amazing. That’s my favorite scene in the movie.

      1. MELANIE FTW!!! You’ve read the book, right? She comes down naked!

      2. I have, but it’s been years. I forgot about that!

  2. Oh! Maura!

    This is amazing! Congratulations!! I love this cowl, your face and this post. Most wonderful!!

  3. This is just about the coolest thing ever! The cowl is really pretty, and if I ever learn to crochet (I suck at it anytime I’ve tried), I’d love to make this for several reasons.

    I’m with you. Scarlett makes me stabby whenever I watch that movie.

  4. Awesome job Maura! You have a great eye for color. 🙂

  5. Hello my dear,

    Firstly congrats on your blog, i LOVE it and it has been added to my favourites list already. Secondly what a beautiful tribute to mammy Breda, your words and your cowl are so lovely and i cannot wait to show them to mum. We loved having you here in ireland and you know your welcome any time you like, just hop on that plane. I hope Martha Stewart continues to see waht we have always seen, an incredibley talented, creative and gorgeous young woman with an wonderful career and life ahead of her. Lots of Love Noírín

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