To summarize the first part of this story, there was a mortal woman - Arachne - who bragged that she could weave better than anyone, even Athena herself who was the goddess of weaving. Athena heard her disrespectful boasts and came to her as a crone to warn her to change her rude ways and pay homage to the goddess who had given Arachne her skill. When Arachne refused and instead challenged Athena to a weaving contest.
They placed their looms together so the women sat back to back and wouldn’t see the other’s work until it was all done. Then they sat down and their nimble fingers began to fly across the threads. They seemed evenly matched for speed, each deft movement was fast and sure; not a mistake was made. At the end when they had each finished, they stood from their looms to look at what the other had done.
Athena wove her triumph in a previous contest with Poseidon over Athens and had woven pictures of the follies of mortal men and women and the consequences of their actions. Arachne, on the other hand, had depicted the follies of the gods. Her skill was unmistakable and Athena could not find a single fault in her work (save the ill-judged content of course). In her anger at such disrespect, impertinence, and skill she rent Arachne’s tapestry and then hit Arachne herself.
Upon being struck, Arachne finally realized the magnitude of her folly and ingratitude and she immediately hung herself. When Athena saw her body hanging, pity overcame her and she changed the rope into a line of spider thread and Arachne herself into a spider so she would live on to the end of her days spinning beautiful webs.
Even today Arachne’s progeny still weave wonderful webs though not so many people can really see the beauty in what they weave. No, people today are more interested in taking a broom to the webs and a heavy shoe to the arachnid which perhaps should have been done to the boastful and rude Arachne in the beginning.