Project is shelved for now, together with a few others, I want to plow through my order list first.
yeah I think this would be a difficult project for a lot of reasons. The small size of kitchen knife handles means that a lot of the expensive material would be wasted. Basically if you compare the size of a kitchen knife handle with the size of a sword handle, they are completely different. The leather would probably need to be coated with epoxy or something similar or else it might absorb water and dirt. I don't think it would work with the traditional handle design/ferrule, perhaps with a completely unconventional, new design.
There are many components that bring a fine custom or handmade knife to its pinnacle of style, use, and completion. Though the first view is of the blade and handle, the bolsters, guard, pommel, and fittings are just as important to the construction and fulfillment of the piece.