Word Count: 1800
Disclaimer: No offence intended. Not real in the slightest.
Summary. Fill for this prompt. Harry learns to knit. Fluff.
A/N: I think I know too much about knitting
He gets a pair of knitting needles from a fan who giggles in his face, blushing profusely before moving on down the line to thrust her camera in Zayn's face. Harry supposes it's a joke about his apparent love for older women and he fights down the irritation that bubbles in his stomach by grinning madly at the next girl in line. She nearly faints at the sight of him so Harry just grins harder and scrawls his signature over her copy of the album.
He doesn't think about it until later, they've piled back onto the bus and Louis is challenging them to a round of Fifa. His ears are still ringing from the concert so he shakes his head and huddles into the corner of one of the sofas on the bus and fantasises about the shower he can't wait to step into. There's a bag of all the gifts they received earlier that day at the signing and poking out of the opening he can see the ivory point of a knitting needle. Without really thinking it through he grabs it, hand searching for it's mate until he has them both. They're cool and surprisingly weighty for something so thin so he slips them into his back pocket and follows the rest of them off the bus and into the hotel.
They have the next day off before they move on to the next city. It’s the end of their long summer tour and he can hardly remember where they are any more never mind where they're headed to next so he just stays quiet and waits until one of the others mention it. Zayn drags him out into the city before dinner. It's quiet and they've managed to escape a group of fans that had stalked them most of the day so Zayn ducks into a shop on the corner of the street to buy a packet of cigarettes and Harry follows him in, glancing around at the baskets of mis matched goods. There's a stand at the end of the aisle and it's full of rows and rows of balls of wool. He ignores Zayn's perplexed stare when he buys a ball of soft green wool.
Most of the boys have fallen asleep, only Niall is still loitering about the living space of the bus, droopy eyes but determined to beat Liam's score on whatever game they had been playing all day without him. It's pitch black outside, only the orange headlights every so often and Harry can't sleep so he pulls his laptop onto his lap and finds a youtube video that goes through step by step how to learn to knit. Niall doesn't even notice when he pulls the balls of wool from his coat and starts casting on.
It's sloppy and crooked but he's surprisingly proud that he has managed to make a row of stitches. He slowly tries to get the technique, tongue poking out in concentration as he slots the needle in, pulls the wool around, then the needle goes through the gate and he let's it slide off. In, around, through the gate, slide off. Inaroundthroughslideoff. By the time Niall goes to bed he's managed to make an inch of emerald green wool, he's dropped a few stitches and it's slightly wonky but it's not a bad attempt for his first time.
Soon the clack of knitting needles becomes the norm as Harry folds himself into the corner of the bus or an armchair in their hotel suite and focuses on perfecting his stitches. Niall thinks it's hilarious and tweets a picture of him, wool wrapped around his knuckles and his practise piece growing long enough to reach the floor from where he's sitting. At first he's embarrassed, it's not exactly a rock and roll hobby but it relaxes him, the methodical rhythm he creates and the soft fabric it produces. He runs out of wool one evening and he's itching to go and buy some more but it's too late for any local shops to be open. Instead he unravels a few lines and practises binding off until he has a very long green rectangle. It's twisted and uneven but Harry likes it because it shows the gradual progression over the past week.
He gets balls and balls and balls of wool at the next signing. Blues and reds and yellows and every other shade he would ever think of. Louis rolls his eyes when Harry picks his favourite colour from the pile he’s accumulated and settles into the sofa beside him. They're watching a movie and his knitting is loud beside them but they've grown used to it and Harry is getting so good that he can knit and still keep his concentration on the screen in front of him. Zayn is absentmindedly unlooping the wool from the ball and threading it loosely through his fingers, feeding it to Harry when he needs to. On the other side Louis is rubbing the edge of the knitting with his thumb, pad of his finger brushing over the softened ridge.
He learns how to purl and join and garter and weave and he practises until he has a few feet of multicoloured mismatched fabric that's nearly perfect towards the end. He starts to look into patterns and settles for some simple ones. Niall curls into him one night after a long day of promo and Harry has nearly finished a block of sky blue that a little blonde girl gave him last week. He holds the fabric up to Niall’s skin and hums.
"What?" Niall asks trying to cuddle closer to him but it met with a mouthful of yarn instead.
"This colour suits you," Harry tells him watching as the colour reflected off his pale skin. Niall frowns a bit but doesn't move and fifteen minutes later Harry casts off and hands him the scarf. "Don't catch a cold."
Niall giggles and let's Harry loop it around his neck. It's soft and warm and Niall is oddly charmed by the gift,
"Thanks Harry." He grins at him and Harry just grins back, slipping his needles onto the coffee table and letting Niall snuggle up to him.
He's faster now. Able to crack out three yards of wool twelve stitches wide in a couple of hours. He finishes a mint green scarf on his way to New York and gives it Zayn because he's sitting beside him and half of it has ended up in his lap anyway. Zayn smirks at him but thanks him anyway, folding it up and tucking it into the pocket of his rucksack. He manages to find a purple that goes well with one of Liam's coats in a craft shop down on a rare morning off so he makes one for him too, practising his slip stitching until he has a pretty pattern edging it. Liam is delighted, pulling it on because it's chilly outside.
It's nearly winter so he starts making hats. Simple beanies that look lumpy and odd next to ones that they usually wear but the boys start to wear them anyway - making the fans go mad. He stripes them and makes them crazy colours, plays around with bobbles and tassels until they look as good as the real deal. He's made so many that members of their crew start to wear them too.
"You're not going to go off and join some knitting commune are you?" Louis asks him seriously one day dropping onto mattress beside him. Harry looks up at him confused, he's learning to double stitch and it's more complicated that he had thought. He's halfway through a pair of orange socks that look like they should fit a giant's foot and he's pretty sure that they are joined together somewhere so can't really do with the distraction. Louis doesn't like to be ignored so he nudged his forehead in a gentle headbutt.
"What?" Harry laughs lowering his knitting to his lap and turning to Louis who is pouting at him. "What even is a knitting commune?"
Louis ignores his question and looks up at him with a glint in his eye. "We have the first day off in ages and you're in here knitting. Let's go do something fun before you turn into an old granny."
"I like knitting." Harry shrugs, fingers trailing over the knobbled orange.
"Yes," Louis says flatly. "For when we're stuck in a bus or a plane for hours on end. Not when we could be outside. Mum thinks it's going to snow." His voice lights up, excitement evident on his face at the prospect. Harry laughs at him but agrees and rolls out of bed.
"Alright." He grins when Louis makes at a face at the garish orange mess he's left behind him. He pulls on his coat and can't help the delight that settles in his stomach as he watches Louis pull on the striped scarf that he had made him a month ago.
It does snow a week later, thick and heavy and they haven't seen it like this in months. Their rehearsal is cancelled because most of London is gridlocked and Louis is ecstatic, bouncing outside and tackling Niall to the ground. They sink so far that Harry can't see them, just aware that they're there because of their squawks and squeals as they tumble through the snow. Liam gets tugged into their fight, crying out as a snowball is smushed against his neck and arching away from them as Niall erupts into a fresh peal of giggles. Zayn is hovering at the edge, palms under his armpits and a grimace on his face.
"I come bearing gifts," Harry announces when he tramps through the nearly knee deep snow and reaches him. Zayn looks around, teeth chattering and scarf wrapped tight around his neck. Harry pulls a bundle of mittens from his pocket and produces them proudly to Zayn.
"You're a lifesaver." He grins, plucking a red pair from the pile and pulling them over his frozen palms. He wiggles his fingers in Harry's face with a grin before swooping down and making a snow ball to join in the fight.
Later, soaked and shivering, all five of them pile into the house. Harry makes tea while Louis goes and changes. He comes back a few minutes later, a few hoodies under his arms for the rest of them.
"What are they?" Niall demands, numb finger pointing down at Louis' feet. Harry bursts into laughter when he sees Louis' freezing feet tucked into the orange socks he had given up on last week. They’re far too big and gaping around the ankles. Louis flushes with embarrassment and throws a hoodie at Harry, small smile on his face as he murmurs.
"Only socks I could find," he murmurs sheepishly and shuffles over to huddle around the radiator with the rest of them.