If you’re in it for the long haul, crafting rewards your 4 skill point investment with more than 4 skill points worth of stuff. If you were going to take a few points worth of skills that items can grant, then strongly consider taking crafting and the ability to build those items instead - you’ve then basically got those skills permanently as well as a small surplus of transferable power. A mine or forest will let you churn out a 7-cost item and a free item every season and slowly accumulate a surplus for trading to make one of your bigger items, and that’s just on your own.
For example, the following build is quite badass:
2 Hero Points
[one free point, which you are saving up]
Apprentice Blade (grants 1 xp worth of skill)
Warrior’s Plate (grants 2 xp worth of skill)
Pilgrim’s Shield (grants 2 xp worth of skill)
Sundering Axe (grants you an ability that you can’t get elsewhere)
Resource: Mine (probably best to grab an orichalcum mine)
Gives you 8 hits, two uses of CLEAVE, shield and one-handed weapon as standard. Your first event you go and get devoted, this lets your magic shield grant you an extra hit point. You start owning a Sundering Axe with one season left on it, so your first event you have your choice of SHATTER or CLEAVE depending on the weapon you use. You then gain 10 orichalcum a season, which you’re trading away to get the resources to make a Sundering Axe; assuming you can get 1-for-1 trades, then your third downtime you’ll be making a Sundering Axe; from then on, provided you keep trading, you’ll be calling SHATTER. You also have a small surplus of items to sell or hand to group members.
You could take a Shieldbreaker (hero point shatter against shields only) rather than a Sundering Axe if you wanted to make two of them a year, or if you wanted to sell some of your orichalcum for mana and get yourself enchanted (a decent enchantment would be Sound of Drums, which gives you one free use of Unstoppable per day for a season, or Swan’s Cruel Wing, which gives you one free use of Cleave per day for a season) - these enchantments probably cost somewhere between half and three quarters of your mine’s output and only last for one season, but you can probably afford that if you’re using a Shieldbreaker.
Your XP can then go on more items if you manage to get wealthy customers who want specific items crafted, or you can spend it on an extra hero point or an extra hit (both of which are 2 points). You might be a blacksmith, but you’re a blacksmith who can hold the line with the best of them. OR, of course, you could decide that the next step on your pilgrimage was to become a priest: your first XP goes with your saved one to buy Dedication, and then the next XP you get goes on your favourite priest skill (likely Exorcism).
Tl:dr? Crafting is really quite excellent: don’t get distracted by the shiny shiny items, focus on things you know you’ll be able to make.