Susan is, in my opinion, the best toy knitter ever. Her patterns are innovative, creative, fun, and easy to knit up. Her most recent toy book: Spud and Chloe on the Farm is sitting on my night stand. I've read it several times. The patterns are so simple and straight forward I wonder why I don't see more toy knitters.
Mary Scott Huff is a brilliant designer and master steek(er). Her fair isle knitting is extraordinary and intricate. It just blows my mind. If I could die and come back as a knitted object of hers, I'd probably return as her Queen Bee Sweater.
Both of these designers inspire me to pay more attention to details, keep my designs simple, and strive to challenge myself.