I have a pile of vintage patterns, but they name the brand and style of yarn, and I have no idea what would be suitable to replace these no longer available yarns. Anybody know a universal converter?
COLUMBIA-MINERVA Nylon and Wool Quick-Knit Baby Yarn~ is one example.
You know, the gauge in the pattern (if there is one) should ge a big tip off -- every yarn has an "average" hook size, needle sze, and knitting stitches per inch and this information is available in print everywhere. Every KP yarn has gauge into in the material detail, and there is a great tutorial on choosing and/or substituting yarn. Generally speaking yarns with similar gauges can substitute for one another.
And try googling the yarn names that you have -- you never know what might turn up!
I have found that yarns that call for Baby yarn are usually, Sport weight.
Yarn thicknesses/categories are generally different for each fiber and sometimes, different with the same fiber type. The gauge will get you closest to the the yarn thickness you'll need.