Changing needles-rocket science?

How do you guys change needles? I just had to frog a nice rib knit hat because when I tried to change to smaller needle to decrease, it was just a mess. The stitches were offset and sproinging up like coils out of a mattress; I had a tough time figuring out which order to put them back on, I dropped a bunch of them, etc. I tried going back a few rows
and starting over, that didn’t work, then wound up unraveling the whole thing. It was like I was walking a dog that slipped its leash and I was running after it, not catching it. Is this something that gets easier to do? Any tips?

I may not be understanding the problem you’re having. When the directions say to change to a different size needle, I knit onto the new needle. If that means decreasing as I go, that’s what I do.
However, catching the dog never gets easier from my experience.

Okay? Now how dumb am I? I just now actually opened a new book I have and it talks about “knitting onto the new needle!” Can you believe that that never occurred to me? I was taking the knitting OFF the needles and then trying to slide the new needle back in! Turns out it IS rocket science (if you are ME!)

Thanks for the quick reply. The only thing harder to catch than the dog is a horse,( but you never really have a horse in your control once they figure out they are much larger than you are). ROFL about my idiocy!

Oy! I’m glad you got that figured out! I can’t imagine moving from one needle to the other just to switch sizes. Always knit with the new size from the old size. Works really well. However, and this is important, you are not an idiot for not understanding!

We all had to learn these things at one time or another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought: Good grief, that’s so much easier than the way I’ve been doing it!

Where’s Mojo when you need him? He knows someone who often says, “Knitting, it ain’t rocket science” or something like that!

Congratulations! You just learned a new trick in knitting. And there’s no need to feel foolish about that. None of us came out of the womb knitting (well, that lady who learned when she was three is pretty darn close, but anywhoo. . . . ), so it’s just a matter of learning as you go, and that usually means doing it the hard way first, and then asking, “Is there an easier way to do this (there has to be or people would have ditched knitting eons ago)?”

This brings up a new question, though. I saw somewhere that folks use a “lifeline.” I understand that that is a known correct row, but how would you get back to the lifeline once you had knit past it?

A lifeline is a thinner yarn or thread that you put into a good row, it acts like a stitch holder. If you need to rip out, you would rip to the line and go on from there. You can add one as you knit if you have interchangeables with a little hole for tightening the tips, or thread it through with a darning needle. There’s a video for it, I think it’s on the Tips page.