94-year-old Nettleton woman crochets Last Supper

Adam Robison | Daily Journal Ruby Harris, 94, of Nettleton, said she crochets "anytime I want to. I can't do nothing else, so I sit around with my feet up and crochet. It relaxes me."

Adam Robison | Daily Journal
Ruby Harris, 94, of Nettleton, said she crochets “anytime I want to. I can’t do nothing else, so I sit around with my feet up and crochet. It relaxes me.”

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

NETTLETON – Ruby Harris’ vision of Jesus and the disciples rests on her couch.

“I dare somebody to sit down on it,” said the 94-year-old Nettleton resident.

Last year, she spent two months crocheting the Last Supper. The final result is 70 inches by 58 inches, and it includes approximately 4,500 yards of thread.

It’s intricate work, said Mary Sprayberry, 75, of Nettleton. She’s Harris’ daughter and actually began crocheting in the 1940s, before her mother started.

“I don’t have the patience to do something like this,” Sprayberry said, pointing at the Last Supper.

“Oh, this is fun,” Harris said. “This is relaxing.”

Sprayberry was 5 or 6 when she learned from Harris’ sister.

“It drove me crazy that I couldn’t do it, so I learned from her,” Sprayberry said.

About a decade later, Harris decided it was time to take up the craft.

“My son had kite string,” she said. “I took her needle and his string and made some dish cloths with it. That’s when I learned. Then I got me a learn-how book. I found me some instructions for four doves and their beaks met in the center.”

Sprayberry still has those four doves in a shadow box, though it’s not unusual for people to have some of “Ninny” Harris’ crochet work.

“She’s like a machine. She whips them out,” said Harris’ granddaughter, Gail Hankins, 54 of Booneville. “I don’t know any of us that don’t have one or two.”

“Or three or four,” Sprayberry said, “and maybe more than that.”

“And the mailman,” Hankins said.

“He’s got 4,” Harris said.

Her work features geometric patterns, as well as crosses and angels. Newborns at Nettleton First Baptist Church are likely to get a Noah’s Arc theme.

“When I was doing the Last Supper, I missed church one Sunday morning,” Harris said. “The preacher said I had to stay at home with the old men I was working on.”

When she finished, she took it to church and let everyone see it. Now, it rests on the couch. People are welcome to admire her work, as long as they’re careful where they sit.

scott.morris@journalinc.com