This is one of the knitting books I bought home with me. It's attraction is as much in the illustrations as in any real desire to knit the garments - although they are beautiful. There's two things about the images that attract me; the first is that one of the garments backdrops is a house I used to live in, and that would have been reason to get the book. The second is the pleasure of seeing how somebody else responds to things I'm familiar with (landscape, Jamiesons spindrift yarn, traditional Fair Isle motifs) and what they produce from them.
Authenticity in traditional knitting is a topic that keeps coming up, and one I find particularly fascinating. For what it's worth I think authenticity is more or less a matter of intent. Knitting in Shetland, in any community with a similarly rich heritage to call on, is an ever evolving craft. Fashions are set, reflected, and followed. Knitters inevitably inspire and copy each other, and are just as likely to be inspired by, or copy, ideas from other sources. That's one of the things that make it so interesting.
It seems to me to be perfectly legitimate to copy a museum piece, or anything else you might see according to skill or desire - as long as you credit the original source. (And as long as it's for personal use, doing that commercially is something different).
Wallin's collection is full of familiar motifs, but combined in such a way, and in a palate of colours, that are as distinctive as a signature. I'm reasonably happy about choosing motifs, but combining colours is something that I still struggle with so looking at how she chooses to do it is fascinating to me.
I never thought I'd be someone who collected books of patterns for the pleasure of looking at them (like looking through an album of etchings or views in the manner of a nicely bought up Victorian Miss) but it seems that's exactly who I am, and this one is proving a particular treat.