Also, after finishing a crafting leve, you have to turn in the items before doing another leve?? I just finished my first and it wont seem to let me start any new ones, so I assume I must drop off the items from the first
I'm not too sure what you mean by this. Every time my leves reset I pick up 8 local leves. I usually run from town to Camp Bearded Rock, or wherever. Most of my leves will give me the materials. Some will require me to talk to NPCs. I gather all my materials and I usually craft ALL of the items for ALL 8 of my leves. At this point I run to each NPC listed in the leve and I turn all of my leves in for rewards.
TL:DR Yes, you must turn them in. The NPCs act as "Aethyrite" for local leves.