Recently I've begun to notice that the ones that do this for me are very often French patterns, such as this beautiful buttoned scarf/wrap/hybrid thingumy from La Droguerie.
(Unfortunately La Droguerie's designs are a devil to get hold of outside France and are fast turning into a shopping list for my next trip to Paris!)
Clearly I won't be the first or last to complement the French on their sense of style, but I do think that this shines through very strongly in the world of knitting design. French patterns seem to me to to excel at simplicity and elegance of design, letting the knitting and yarn speak for themselves.
Here are a few of my recent ravelry "faves"...
Of course, once I have faved the patterns, there is the issue of translation. Personally, I am not quite confident enough in my French skills to translate patterns to the level of accuracy and exactitude that knitting requires. But I'm delighted to report that I have discovered the Excuse Me group on Ravelry, which is populated by brilliant, bilingual people willing to translate patterns to and from a whole range of languages. Thanks to this group, I now have a translation ready for Confortable, which I hope to make very soon.