The message — cancer awareness — came in the form of bright, multicolored yarn patches placed throughout The LAB Antimall in Costa Mesa.
The final yarn bomb piece went up Tuesday morning, covering the center's well-known sign. Members of nonprofits Knots of Love, Project Linus and the TEDxYouth at Bomber Canyon gathered to watch the culminating event. The three groups spent the past week wrapping trees, signs and poles at The LAB in yarn, according to a news release.
The groups teamed up with The LAB, which dedicated August to the "art of yarn," working with the Yarnover Truck and offering several fundraising knitting events, the news release said.
"Yarn bombing" The LAB — covering it with knitted or crocheted yarn — hopefully makes "people smile the same way we do when a cancer patient wears one of our caps," said Knots of Love founder and Executive Director Christine Fabiani in the release.
"This is our first yarn bombing experience ever," said Knots of Love member Cindy Faatz.
Faatz's mom, Gloria Anderson, 86, devoted most of the weekend to completing her piece of the yarn bombing.
Building more awareness about cancer is part of the mission of Knots of Love, which has given away more than 165,000 handwoven beanies and caps to cancer patients since its founding in 2007, Fabiani said.
"People love to give back, and this is a great way to do it from the comfort of their own home," she said.
Knots of Love counts roughly 500 to 600 members who knit caps and beanies for about 3,500 cancer patients around the world each month, Fabiani said.
Members of the TEDxYouth at Bomber Canyon recently worked to make hats for Knots of Love and blankets for Project Linus, the news release said.
"I think it's amazing to see a 12-year-old knitting. ... It's a nice way to get them involved at a young age," said Eric Graveline, a parent of a TedxYouth member.
Graveline's son is one of more than 25 local kids associated with TEDxYouth, whose members range in age from 12 to 18.
"Knots of Love gives little blankets to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," Fabiani said. "Parents sleep with them [the blankets] so their scents are on them."
Knots of Love donated the yarn for the bombing and Suzoo's Wool Works donated the yarn for the Project Linus blankets, said LAB community relations manager Mary Castillo.
Knitted donations can be dropped of at Crew Salon at The LAB Antimall, 2930 Bristol St., or Seed People's Market at The Camp, 2937 Bristol St., C101, in Costa Mesa. For more information visit http://www.thelab.com/yarn-bombing-and-beyond.
[For the record, 1:49 p.m. Aug. 14: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Project Linus gave blankets to the Neonatal Intesive Care Unit and that Mary Castillo worked for Knots of Love. Knots of Love provides the blankets and Castillo works for the LAB.]