Friday, July 6, 2012

Save the Stop Sign Flowers in Clairemont!!!!!

Save the Stop Sign Flowers in Clairemont!!!!!

Stop Sign Flower is an urban art project that took bloom in the Clairemont area in the beginning of March 2012 in order to welcome spring and make people smile on their way to work, school, or other daily activities.  The project started on where the funding reached its goal of $1,200 on August 5th 2011.  With many people's efforts, 100 stop signs were transformed into beautiful flowers with the use of yarn and if you haven't had the opportunity to see one in person, it is quite an impressive sight.

Unfortunately, a little over a month after the project started, Bill Harris, member of Transportation & Storm Water Department and the City of San Diego have notified us that the flowers have to come down. 

I am deeply saddened by this because I think that the flowers were a positive for the community and city. They brighten public spaces by turning a bland object into something more tasteful to look at, they promote culture, discourage vandalism and the actual act of creating and installing them has brought people together and enlivened the streets with fascination and interaction. 

I have thought of many reasons why they would have to be taken down, but none of them seem valid. Nobody was harmed in this. No accidents have been filed as a result of the stop sign flowers and nobody's morals are being compromised. Each flower was going to be maintained, so they would have never turned into an eyesore and the yarn would have never fallen victim to storm drains. The yarn is only wrapped around the pole itself, so the red stop sign is still clearly visible and you only really notice the stop sign's transformation when you get up close.  Upon seeing the stop sign flower, the car should already be coming to a stop; so if anything these flowers would avoid people from doing California's well known, "California roll". Yarn is a temporary medium and only lasts a year, so unlike paint, the removal of these flowers cost nothing.  Removing them is as easy as a snip of scissors.

I believe that if the City of San Diego can make it so that utility boxes and large murals can be painted as a beautification project, then there has to be a way that these flowers can remain.

I know many others in the community enjoy the flowers and would be incredibly disappointed to see them go. After meeting up with Knitting Guy (an alias created by the starter of the project) and installing numerous of these flowers with him, there was a large response from people walking or driving by that would stop and thank us for the flowers and comment on how much they enjoyed them. One teenager mentioned that her little sister thought that fairies had planted them.  They even create wonder and imagination in our youth!  

I support this project and it really means a lot to me that they stay!  Please, if you are reading this and feel the same way, write council member Lori Zapf at or sign the petition at

Stop Sign Flower Crochet Pattern

Stop Sign Flower Crochet Pattern
By Crochet Grenade

Hook size P (10 mm US)
Lion Brand Thick and Quick (Grass)
4 skeins

(above location: Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Carmelo Dr.  San Diego, Ca)


Row 1: Ch 16, DC in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn, DC in each chain across

Continue row 2 until the stem measures 7.5-8 feet

Large Leaves

Double Triple Crochet (DTR)-  YO hook 3 times, insert in ch and pull up a loop (5 loops on hook),  work off 2 loops at a time

Rnd 1: Ch 31, sl st. in 2nd ch from hook, *SC in the next 4 ch spaces, DC in the next 4 ch. spaces, TR in the next 4 ch spaces, DTR in the next 5 ch spaces, TR in the next 4 ch spaces, DC in the next 4 ch spaces, SC in the last 4 ch spaces*, ch 1 and turn to opposite side

Rnd2:  Mirroring what you just did between **, SC in the first 4 ch, DC in the next 4 ch, TR in the next 4 ch, DTR in the next 5 ch, TR in the next 4 ch, DC in the next 4 ch, SC in the last 4 ch spaces.

Repeat Rnd 1 and 2 in order to create a larger leaf.  Bind off and leave a 6 inch tail.

- If you would like to add a vein, make a chain the length of the leaf and tie off leaving a long tail to sew onto the middle of the leaf.

-For the wire I went to Home Depot and got green 12 gauge wire.  Put your leaf on the wire and then cut, leaving about 10 inches of wire to thread through the holes of the pole. I have heard that you can do poles without holes, yet I have not tried to do one myself.   After you get your leaves attached, you will tie to two tail ends together so that they do not slide down the wire.

Additional Instructions:

- You may need a step ladder or somebody tall enough to reach. With two people installing goes easier and faster because one can work at the top with the leaves and the other can stitch up the stem, but it all can be done without a partner

-Begin installing the stem at the top of the pole.  To secure your stem to the pole and the sign, loop through the back of the sign once to just secure it, and then begin your joining down the stem.   

-Installing is done under darkness because you may not want to draw attention to yourself.  If a cop really wanted to be a jerk, this could be considered vandalism; however, I have installed one right in front of a cop and he didn't do anything.

-If you have any questions about installing or make any revisions to the leaf pattern or design, please let me know!  I'd love to see your take on the Stop Sign Flower.

(above location: Pacific Beach Drive and Jewell, San Diego, Ca)

Have fun and check out!