Non-twisting 4-strand braids

Tamara Ollenberg

Step 1) Make a pony.

Step 2) Divide pony into four strands with two on top and two below. Do not make four strands side by side. You are building a round braided cord not a flat braid. Hold the right strands (top and bottom) in your right hand and the left strands (top and bottom) in your left hand as you braid. I "park" the strands between my middle to pinky fingers and use my index finger and thumb to pass strands back and forth as I braid.

Step 3) Take the top right strand over the top left strand and the bottom right strand over the bottom left strand and pull firm. This forms the base of the braid or cord. The rest of the braid can be done quite loose.

Step 4) Switch the positions of the top left strand with the bottom right strand passing the top strand behind the bottom strand. The crossing should occur underneath and between the original top right and bottom left strands. The original top left strand is now the new bottom right strand and the original bottom right strand is the new top left strand.

Step 5) Switch the positions of the top right strand with the bottom left strand passing the top strand behind the bottom strand. The crossing should occur underneath and between the new top right and bottom left strands. The original top right strand is now the new bottom left strand and the original bottom left strand is the new top right strand.

Step 6) Repeat steps 4 & 5 and tie off when done.

Because I tend to forget, I find it helpful to recite "top behind bottom" as I switch strands back and forth.


Ari Rapkin
Last modified: Wed Jul 23 10:44:15 EDT 1997