Often I work on multiple projects at once and collect materials while I go about my normal activities. When I feel I'm close enough to cap a profession, I gear up for a final push so I can write up a post. Over the past couple of weeks I've been slowly leveling my First Aid as I collected cloth. Just as in the Beta, Frostweave Cloth has a fairly skimpy drop when you start adventuring in Northrend. As a result, it appears that the average person would have difficulty powering up First Aid in a short period of time.
There are other barriers as well. The Heavy Frostweave recipe is a mid-level drop that binds when picked up. My guild has organized farming parties in Zul'Drak to get copies for guildies that need it, but not everyone has that opportunity. I got my copy on a run through Violet Hold, I happened to be the low man on the totem pole and no one else wanted it. Either way, it would be pretty difficult for a toon in their low 70's to acquire this recipe. This is the main reason I didn't even attempt to level FA early on, I didn't have the heavy bandage recipe needed to cap. I think the message here from Blizzard is: Don't plan to power-level First Aid.
But luckily my rogue was drafted by a couple of guildmates to help out on a Violet Hold run and I won the roll for the bandage recipe that dropped. Since then I've been leveling First Aid in earnest to see how it played out. I was able to use the regular Frostweave Bandage recipe to get to 400 skill, at which point that recipe turned green. Obviously you can keep going if you don't have the Heavy bandage recipe, but ideally you'd want to switch at that point. I actually made some extra Frostweave bandages just to see how far it would take me and around 404 it stopped giving reasonable skill points.
The Heavy Frostweave Bandage recipe requires 400 skill, so if you haven't reached that point yet you won't be able to learn the recipe. It's yellow when you train it, so right off the bat you're going to have misses. And we're talking about 50 skill points we'll need to get with this one recipe (as far as we know) so I was fairly intimidated by what the final mat costs might be.
I started off using the cloth I'd managed to collect from my two level 74 toons, I made a point not to use any of it while questing (Instead they relied on all the Netherweave bandages I'd stocked up on per my own advice from the Beta :P). So I pooled all the frostweave together on the toon with the new recipe. I ended up making about 2 stacks of Heavy Frostweave bandages to go from 404-430 skill. When you get to 430 the Heavy Frostweave recipe turns green, so the final 20 points are going to require a significant amount of cloth. Since I was out of my saved cloth, I shopped the Auction House for the final push and it took another 3 stacks of Heavy bandages to hit the cap at 450. In total I probably used about 250 Frostweave Cloth to go all the way from 375-450 in First Aid.
As I mentioned earlier, I started out doing a "craft as you go" system for the earlier phases of First Aid. Once I ran out of my own cloth it became obvious that C-A-Y-G was not going to get me to 450 any time soon. I bit the bullet and bought six more stacks of Frostweave from the Auction House. Right now they're going for 35-40g a stack on my server, so you're talking around 200g to get the last 20 points in First Aid. I suppose if you're a raider this might be a worthwhile investment, but I really don't think it provides any meaningful benefit to reach 450. My purpose in doing it was mostly just to get a ballpark on how much cloth it would take to max First Aid for the purposes of this post. I absolutely wouldn't buy extra cloth just to hit the cap, at least not at the current prices.
I hope this information at least helps some of you realize what to expect and come up with your own game plan for First Aid. As always, feel free to post other tips you might have on First Aid :)