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Margaret Stove, New Zealand’s Lacemaker to Royalty

Celebrate the coronation with the story behind a shawl for Prince William.

Anne Merrow May 12, 2023 - 5 min read

Margaret Stove, New Zealand’s Lacemaker to Royalty Primary Image

Margaret’s unique method involves washing wool lock by lock, fanning out the tip end in her hand, and using a very light touch as she spins with a worsted draw. Photo courtesy of Edward Field

In her article “Handspun Lace for a Prince” in Spin Off Summer 2013, Margaret describes the painstaking process of designing, spinning, and knitting William’s shawl, for which she logged nearly 394 hours. PieceWork magazine subscribers can enjoy this special piece from our sister magazine, and links to a few beautiful lace patterns.

Margaret Stove has taught spinners around the world how to wash and spin ultrafine wool. But outside the spinning community, she may be best known as the designer of the shawls that were New Zealand’s gifts to Prince William and his oldest son, Prince George. In 1982, she created the Bush Bouquet Shawl (her first full design!) for the royal baby.

When Prince George was born in 2013, New Zealand’s gift to the royal baby was a different Margaret Stove design, Filmy Fern (from her book Wrapped in Lace), though the later shawl was spun and knitted by Cynthia Read.

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