For the current pattern i'm working on, i'm having to switch from size 3 to size 7 needles, and it's extremely difficult. Not only is it taking forever to switch those little stitches to bigger needles, it's making my yarn look worn and dirty. Are there any suggestions to make this process less damaging to my yarn and a little easier to deal with?
I've never tried to do that, but while reading your post I thought it would be a good idea to change the needles slowly. What if you change to needle 5 in one row ant then to 7?
I think you want to knit from the size 3 needles onto the size 7. I would not slip the stitches from the smaller needle to the larger one. Here's what I mean:
Hold your work with the size 3 needles in your left hand. Hold the size 7 needles in your right hand and knit with the size 7 needles. Once you're done, all stitches will be on the size 7 needles. This is a way of increasing without having to add stitches. Doing it by this method should not stretch your existing stitches.
Hope this works for you. Good luck.
Are you trying to stick the size 7 needle all the way through the stitch on the size 3 needle? That WOULD be hard, I'd just use the tip of the 7 needle, and make sure you wrap your yarn with enough slack that the new stitch fits on the 7 needle.