My favorite start for 4 cords folded in half … or 8 strands/parts to start for strength and neatness is treating the 8 strands as 4 pairs of strands.
If you count on the left you can see 4 strands trailing off loosely, they are not part of the “pass”. A pass being when you have braided / woven each strand once. In this style of braiding the loose strands won’t be closed off until we start the next pass.
If you are counting on the right side, the are also 4 braided / woven strands, but these are locked down by the left side’s strands.
Then in the 3rd & 4th photo you see I transition by pulling the highest strand on either side around the back of the round braid. Then do the herringbone (under 2 strands, over 2 strands) braid.
If you count the braiding strands along the right side, you might not notice on the top right the first strand is pulled so tight it barely shows. Above the brass triangle loop is 2 strands, then since we know we started with 4 strands total, we count two more below the triangle loop.
Next a 12 strand round braid – Link