Spinning for Lace with Margaret Stove

There can be no doubt at all that Margaret Stove is the leading exponent of her craft. She’s a Lace Ninja alright. I was expecting to learn a great deal from this video.

I wish that I had realised before lashing out $14.95 for the download version that the title really should have been Spinning Merino for Lace.

It was interesting, but of little use to me at this time. I am sure that I shall return to it, should I ever be fortunate enough to lay my hands on some Merino, or a similar fleece.

The most interesting thing that came from this video is that Margaret produces those amazing yarns on an Ashford Traditional wheel, nothing fancy. It looks very much like the standard flyer, too – not the “lace” flyer. I cannot be certain of that, but it does look that way.

As noted, the focus is very much on Merino and the long section on preparing Merino locks for spinning will be invaluable, should you want/need to do that. Margaret washes the locks individually (see footnote) in extremely hot water, and rubs each lock on a block of soap, Rinsing is minimal.

She points out that a single lock goes a very long way in lace spinning and that her typical 15 minute washing session will supply fibre for several days’ spinning.


This is another very technical video. The delivery is less good than that of The Spinner’s Toolbox. If Abby  is the Visiting Lecturer, and Judith is the Masterclass Tutor, then Margaret is definitely the Village Schoolmistress.

The big beef that I have with this video is that, yes, Margaret Stove is probably the leading exponent, but a little bit more of how to approach something like her level of skill and rather less of “look how clever I am” would have made this video more valuable to me, and more enjoyable.

Summary: well worth watching if you want to spin Merino or similar fleece. Interesting for technique to spin fine yarn with elastic bounce and also for lock preparation method/spinning from the lock.

Run time: 86 minutes

Footnote: To wash larger amounts, Margaret uses Netlon bags – the plastic netting used for packing fruit (and for Natalie’s Yarn Bras.) This looks to be a method transferable to the fibres that I do use and would appear to offer benefits over the laundry bags that I am currently using. I looked up Netlon on eBay and found it in 50 metre rolls. Far too much for this spinner.

It’s just a thought but if Sanday Spinners obtained a quantity, would there  be a market for sections of Netlon if we resold it in sensible lengths? We would need to research which gauge is best to use for this purpose.

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2 Responses to “Spinning for Lace with Margaret Stove”

  1. Caroline 10th July 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I re-use supermarket onion bags on my antique sock machine. Would these be too small for what you have in mind?

    • SandaySpinner 10th July 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Too weak/fine. It needs to be able to hold a single layer of locks firmly – so… what, about 6″ to 8″ wide, maybe a foot or 18″ long and with the ability to lay flat and hold locks in place.

      All these years – I still think in Imperial and guesstimate in Imperial… I don’t believe I shall ever be metricated


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