First, Nancy Bush. I just love her sock patterns! They are always well balanced in form and function, and they have lovely little details. I also love her sense of the history of sock knitting. It connects me with generations of sock knitters.
I also love Veronik Avery's designs. It's the little details in everything she does, like the shoulder cable that turns into the collar on the Three-Penny Pullover, things like that. Little details that make a pattern more than a sweater.