The main principles in skilling up weapons are:
* Level first, then skill up. The bigger the gap between your current skill and the cap, the faster you skill up.
* Always try to use the best job for the skill to make the gap as big as pos
* If you can't hit it, you can't skill up on it. Don't start on something too high, you have to go up in steps.
* When you get close to the cap (either from your level, or the mob's level), they slow down. Last year's changes mean that the "mob's level" has a bit more headroom, and that you can now still get 0.4 and 0.5 near cap.
* When in Abyssea, get all the usual buffs, and regen atma. This will let you fight EM/T (for a good gap) without having to pay a lot of attention, so you can watch TV and not be bored.
* Don't gear up for uber damage. The longer you can beat on the same mob, the less often you have to find a new one.
* If you have PDT gear (twilight torque, augmented dark rings, etc.), wear it.
* If you're trying to skill up defensive skills, you need to take hate. The easiest way to do that is to go solo. Don't use blink/utsusemi. Mandies are a good opponent, especially the ones by Flux 5 in Attohwa.
* If it's a 1-hand weapon and you can dual wield, it'll go faster.
* If it's a 2-hand weapon, expect it to take a while. Go for a low delay weapon if you can.
I've been skilling up weapons lately without using the special foods, but by picking the right level mobs. (I also strictly solo, no duct tape 2box white mage crap.)
* When starting out from zero, just about anything goes. I like the orcs out in East Altepa for level 50-ish range.
* Up to about 250-275 in tree, page 5 I think. Crabs and flies.
* Up to about 325-350, Pachypodiums in Tahrongi, they don't link or aggro.
* After that, Bluffalo in Ulgyrange, they go to level 99-100, which is about as high as you can find in aby. You need to have some way to remove virus/paralyze.
Also, I've noticed that there seems to be a "sweet spot" for skill-ups, where below it, even if you can hit reliably, they are slow, then they speed up as you get higher, then they slow down again as you near the cap.
And if you're trying to level shield, you have my sympathy. I just started working on it again (my last non-magic skill still below 300), and I found some notes I put in the wiki talk page on shield skill-ups... four years ago. I got it from 265 to 278 tonight.