4 books: Girls' mother, an apparent suicide, did magic making lace

TANSTAAFL

Killed in the battle against the Mad King
#1
This is why I found this site, a friend was recommending books, and has been looking for these for years:

It's a series of four books.
There are two main characters, one a boy, one a girl.

The girl's mother was an assumed suicide, and had performed magic by/while making lace. (For the king, who died [possibly assassinated?], I think, at about the time the mother died.)

The boy was going to a wizarding school, but magic didn't work right for him. When he was supposed to make a rabbit appear, instead he gets rabbit meat, and fur. When he was supposed to make wine, he got grape juice and vinegar.

I believe there were two kingdoms, magic was forbidden in one, perhaps the one where the girl lived.

Probably published before 2000, unlikely before 1980.
 
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