Awake early, thinking about a weaving project, I started to think about some braids I'd seen on Laverne's blog. They looked a bit like Japanese kumihimo braids , and I had tried those a couple of times, so I had an idea how they might work.
Cut some strands of cotton and did a 4-strand braid, then got ambitious, and violà!* here's a multi-colour 6-strand braid as well.
You can see quite clearly where I started to get the hang of proper tension.
* Yes, I know it's really "voilà", but I saw this mis-spelling recently, and it amuses me.