According to Cheryl Oberle in Folk Shawls, the Russian domovoi are household elves. If you were ever a member or leader of a Brownie Girl Scout Troop, you probably flashed right to the story of the wise old owl and the little girl who learns to be helpful.
"Please", said the girl, "where can I find the Brownies to come and live with us? The owl said, "I know where two live – right in your house!" She was very surprised! Tell me how to find them, she begged. He told her to go to the pond in the magic forest, turn around three times and say, "twist me and turn me and show me the elf… I looked in the water and saw…….!" The wise old owl said, "When you finish the rhyme, you will see the Brownie in the magic pond."
As a kid, I was a Brownie. Decades later, my husband and I led a troop for three years when our girls were that age (1st-3rd grades which is 6 through 8 years old). We loved our quite large and fun troop. We were definitely not by-the-book leaders. Put it this way: if you've seen the movie "Troop Beverly Hills", you get the general picture ... only in rural Wisconsin.
I don't know why this rectangular shawl is named after the domovoi except that it's so easy it practically knits itself. This is the first 1/4 or 1/3 of the center, depending on how long I decide to make it. There will be a lace border.