"knitting black wool as for a warm pall"
The Old Master (1883)
Public DomainThe Old Master (1883) - Credit: James Hayllar

A pall (from the Latin pallium, meaning cloak) is a cloth which covers a casket or coffin at funerals.

In a letter to R. B. Cunninghame Graham dated 20 December 1897, about a year before he began writing Heart of Darkness, Conrad had imagined the universe in the form of a merciless knitting machine: ‘It knits us in and it knits us out. It has knitted time, space, pain, death, corruption, despair and all the illusions – and nothing matters.'