I just posted my first Cyanotype in the critique gallery I also use Arista ortholith for enlarged negatives, although in the posted cyanotype the neg was a 4x5 of Arista 400 from a pinhole camera. I had lots of fun combining photogram techniques as well... placing 'found objects' with my negative. I plan on using the direct negative technique in the future (soon as my darkroom is functioning again).
I do think arista works best for cont tone in very dilute dev, like dektol at 1:20. I also once tried a suggestion to add baking powder (or was it soda?) to decrease the contrast. I seem to recall it working fairly well, but probably the same as heavy dilution. I haven't tried van dykes yet, but plan on doing some gums in the future. I live in FL so I use the sun... might as well, huh? Kinda fun sitting out in the grass watching my image emerge . Only problem is I don't have a contact frame... I use a large hardcover book and an 8x10 piece of glass! Makes it hard to check exposure, but it works. I think your first attempts are great! Getting the exposure right can be tough... mine was just slightly overexposed (too dark). My cyan was grainy because I used Fabriano 'rough' texture paper. Didn't notice significant graininess otherwise.
Well, looking forward to seeing more!! Hopefully soon I will have more to post too.