Spinning and weaving. Arachne was so skilful a needlewoman that she challenged Minerva to a trial of skill, and hanged herself because the goddess beat her. Minerva then changed her into a spider.
Arachne's labours ne'er her hours divide, Her noble hands nor looms nor spindles guide.
Hoole's Jerusalem Delivered, book ii.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894