The Morse Code Cowl’s big London adventure

Karen Templer's Morse Code Cowl on Stephen Fry's QI

I’ve been keeping a really funny little secret for several months now, and can finally unburden myself of it. Last spring I got an email from a producer at Stephen Fry’s UK quiz-comedy-panel show “QI.” He said they were working on an episode with a knitting theme and wanted to know if I’d let them use the images of my Morse Code Cowl for the show. I told him I’d send him the whole cowl if he liked, and shortly thereafter the little cowl boarded a plane and flew off to hobnob with Stephen Fry and friends in London, while I sat jealously at home. (I was invited to attend the taping, but being in California made it difficult to take them up on it.) And then I waited. The very nice producer I’d been working with apparently moved on over the summer, and his replacement didn’t respond to my query, but the internet led me to believe the “Knits & Knots” episode would be airing on October 4th. Alas, a nice fellow called @MikeLikesCheese alerted me on Twitter that it aired Friday night!

It’s on BBC 2, will be airing again this evening (right now?) and is also available online, but you have to be in the UK to view it. Which is killing me. Past seasons have been on YouTube — I know because I watched quite a bit of it after that initial contact — so maybe this will wind up there at some point as well? (Pirated versions are being quickly pulled.) But if you’re in the UK, please, I beg you to watch and give me a full account. Does the cowl actually make an appearance? In what context? And what else goes on? I need to know!

UPDATE: Thanks to @helloyarn I’ve now seen it! Screengrab above. And Rachael in the comments linked this YouTube version which so far has not been removed. If you’re watching it online, the knitting segment starts around the 10-minute mark, and he holds up my cowl around 11:15.


26 thoughts on “The Morse Code Cowl’s big London adventure

  1. I saw it! Your cowl was magnificent. The audience was suitably awed. Ross Noble, Allan Davies and David Mitchell silently stunned whilst Sue Perkins (who might be a closet knitter. Something about her comments suggested more than a passing interest) was very impressed.
    I was disappointed by the opening sequence in the screens behind the panels. Unravelling CROCHET. Not knitting. Crochet. Silly people. But Sue Perkins was too polite to say anything.

  2. How wonderful/frustrating is that?! It’s almost like an old good news/bad news joke. “The good news is that your design is featured on British TV on a show featuring Stephen Fry. The bad news is that you can’t watch it.”

  3. Note that I’ve added an update to the post — I got to see it! Only up to my part, because it was too painful trying to stream it. But I saw the important part.

    • Yay that you (and we) here in America can see it! Your design was wonderful at many times life-size, and the program was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time! It was, like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, both “curiously informative” and entertaining. Thanks!

  4. I saw the episode! The cowl is awesome! They seemed impressed. The crochet backgrounds were a little disappointing, but the cowl is fabulous! Congratulations!

  5. Cool!
    I too was annoyed by the ‘knitting’ at the start being crochet. Call themselves intellectuals? Pah!

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