This article shows the different patterns achievable in a basic round kumihimo braid with three colors of thread. After writing the article on two color braids, I started thinking about how many color patterns I could get out of three colors instead of just two. I only included patterns created with a main color and equal amounts of the secondary colors. In this case I used four black threads, two gray, and two red. There are many more combinations possible with three colors if you use different amounts of the different threads, but I like the symmetry of 4 / 2 / 2 .
Like my first experiment, I used a foam kumihimo disk to make the basic round braid for all the patterns. Instructions for the basic round braid can be found at this website. All braids were created with eight strands of DMC #5 Perle cotton thread. I picked this thread because it was what I had on hand left over from other projects. I used three colors; black, a very light gray, and red. The pale purple thread in the picture is the thread I used to tie of the braid when it was done so it wouldn't unravel.
Also, like my first expirement with two color braids, I decided that to change the pattern I needed to change the starting locations of the different colors of threads. So I drew up another sketch of the possible starting locations. When making the braids, I crossed off any of my proposed starting locations that were the same thread positions as some of the later steps of the braiding process for other starting locations (and produce the same pattern). After all the kumihimo braids were complete, I came up with eight possible patterns. Here are those patterns and the thread starting locations I used to achieve them.