Myths are having a moment.
First we learn the news that the new Thor is a WOMAN. Which is rad. Extra rad as I’ve been addicted to the show Vikings for the last couple of months. If you haven’t seen it yet, all I need to say is set your DVR to BINGE. And for those that have seen it…BLOOD EAGLE.
And the news of Thor led me to other myths, more crafty myths. No, not the Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. The myth of the ultimate crafter…Arachne.
Once upon a time, back in Greek mythological days, there was a young lady named Arachne who was a bad-ass spinner and weaver, and she knew it. She was so sure of her superior skillz that she started boasting to the people her village. “I’m a FIERCE weaver, y’all. In fact, I’m better than Athena herself, the goddess of wisdom and crafts!”
This got back to Athena herself, who was all like “What?! That bitch is MORTAL. Oh, it’s ON.”
So Athena gets herself into costume and comes to Arachne as an old woman. She says she heard that Arachne thinks she’s better than Athena, and Arachne replies “No doubt.”
Now Athena whips off her old-woman costume, reveals herself, and challenges Arachne to a weave-off. Whoever loses, has to give up her craft and can never weave or spin again. Not she, nor none of her family, for all generations to come. And the winner? The winner gets bragging rights.
So now it’s like a rap battle. Except with yarn. Arachne weaves a beautiful tapestry that tells a tale of even older mythology and it’s stunning. And Athena weaves a tapestry that harnesses the blue of the sky, the yellow of sunbeams, and the green of leaves in spring.
And here’s where the tale diverges. Sometimes Athena wins, and sometimes Arachne wins. But in the ending I like best, it’s sort of a win-win situation. Sort of. It turns out that Athena wins, because she’s a goddess and all, and makes goddess-like weaving. Arachne, horrified that she’s lost, and realizing that she can’t live without craft (sort of like we all can’t live without knitting or crochet), hangs herself. Oy. The tragedy. Athena is like “Dayamn. I didn’t think she’d take it so hard. She didn’t have to go and KILL herself.” So she decides to bring Arachne back to life. Howesomever, lessons must be learned. (She was also a little jealous that Arachne was kind of a babe, and Athena’s husband had taken notice). So she brings back Arachne back from death…as a spider. Now she, and all her millions and millions of spider babies, can weave forever and ever, to their hearts content. And eat flies. And star in “Charlotte’s Web.”
Want to knit with the spirit of Arachne? Try these incredible Spider Socks, knitting in the spirit of the unfortunate weaver with every stitch.
What are your favorite mythical knits? Share them in the comments.