In Greek mythology, Arachne was a mortal woman and talented weaver. She was so good that Pallas Athena, goddess of handicraft, became enraged with jealousy and challenged Arachne. She had to prove that it was the influence of the Gods that made everyone admire Arachne, so Athena challenged Arachne to a weaving contest. Arachne made a real effort and spent half a year making the world's most beautiful tapestry. It was so beautiful that everyone who saw it started to cry.
Athena was so jealous that she tore it up and turned Arachne into a spider proclaiming that she, and all her descendants, would hang forever from threads and be skilful weavers. Hence the origins of the word Arachnophobia.
In Cathrine Raben Davidsen's breathtaking piece "Arakne", Arachne still has the thread in her hand as she is turning into a spider.