For the knife scales I would cut some blocks now, but make them about 4 times larger than you need.
This is so that when you leave them to season (somewhere cool and dry for about a year, it needs to dry SLOWLY) if there is any splitting you should still have some useable timber.
You could also try painting the end-grain ends of the cut wood (use an oil based paint) as this will also help to slow and even out the drying process.
Hope this helps
If you can keep calm when all others around you are losing their heads - then the drugs are obviously working!